Stations of the North is an initiative of the Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst to create a sculptural representation of the passion and death of Jesus Christ, based in a small woodland Stonyhurst. It will be situated in the woodland behind Theodore House and will allow for the traditional devotions of the Stations of the Cross, while reminding people of modern suffering and the contemporary persecutions of Christians in our hurting world.
The Fourteen Stations will be added to by a final Fifteenth Stations depicting the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The Stations will be available to pupils at Stonyhurst College, those on residential or day retreats at Theodore House, and those Studying at the Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst.
The Trustees of the Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst are working with the internationally acclaimed British Sculptor Stephen Broadbent and Andy Thomson from the award winning Landscape design Studio BCA Landscape to bring this vision to a reality.
J.R.R.Tolkien was not the first visitor to have been inspired by the beautiful Ribble Valley countryside that surrounds Stonyhurst. Many who have studied or worked there have been captivated by its story – endurance and heroism in the face of seemingly impossible odds; the endless search for what truly matters, rather than the ephemeral or trivial; and the discovery of “the little way” as the path to maturity and character.
Professor Tolkien spent time at Stonyhurst. In his writing he reflected these themes and incorporated names and descriptions of landscapes which bear great similarity to places around Stonyhurst.
The author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings – one of the world’s top ten best-selling books – was a regular visitor to this beautiful part of Lancashire, the Sacred County, when one of his sons, Michael, was a teacher at the college, and another, John, trained there for the priesthood (while the English College in Rome was closed during the Second World War). Tolkiens name appears in the college visitors book many times, along with those of his wife, daughter and sons.
This walk, produced by the Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst and based on the route created in conjunction with Ribble Valley Borough Council, focuses on Tolkien’s Catholic faith and touches both on the places that would have been familiar to him and on those that may resonate with people who know his books.
The trail enables walkers to experience some of the stunning local landscape that, during Tolkien’s visits, would have inspired him in his stories of hobbits – the people of the Shire – and their great battles.
Appropriately enough, the village of Hurst Green boasts its own Shire Lane while Ribblesdale and Rivensdale seem, at times, interchangeable. The verdant countryside is dominated by the dark shape of Pendle Hill which bears a striking resemblance to Mordor.
Mark Thompson, Editor of the New York Times, said of the area around Stonyhurst, “you have a feeling that this is a special, unspoilt place. It’s amazing”.
We hope you enjoy the walk!
See the full pdf here.
The Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst in partnership with the St John Paul II National Shrine in Washington DC hosted an exhibition dedicated to the life and legacy of St Thomas More. 50 artifacts from the Stonyhurst Collection were sympathetically displayed, along with a few artifacts from the Archdiocese of Baltimore creating a historical and devotional exhibition of the very highest standard.
The exhibition sought to portray Thomas More as his family, friends, and colleagues knew him. It examined the complex political, religious, and deeply personal issues with which he had to deal. More served a king who reveared learning but who would tolerate no opposition and who refused to recognize ant man’s conscience but his own. The displays revealed life in Catholic England before the Reformation, the religious controversies of More’s life and times, his public and private life, his trial and execution.
The Exhibition explored the rich legacy of Thomas More and his lasting inspiration to people of conscience. Specifically, it explores the impact of Thomas More on John Carroll, the only Catholic signer of the American Declaration of Independence, in their struggle for independence and religious liberty in early America. The exhibition also demonstrates how the example of More has survived the succeeding ages, lending strength to mant still struggling for religious freedom in current times.
“England, rich as she is in talents, has onle one genius and that is more” – Erasmus.
The Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst was pleased to support the Embassy of Hungary in the United Kingdom in the formation of Becket Week. Becket Week was centered around the return on a relic of St Thomas Becket which had been in Hungary since soon after Thomas was killed. The Hungarian President accompanied the Relic to the UK, and during the week, the deputy Prime Minister of Hungary and Speaker of the Hungarian House of Representatives and other ministers also took part. In the United Kingdom the delegation was welcomed by the Speaker of the House of Commons, and Lord Speaker and many religious leaders.
In Hungary St Thomas continues to be a symbol of freedom from oppression, and particularly religious liberty.
Becket Week was made up of three aspects: devotional, historical and political. The week began with Mass at Westminster Cathedral, a service was held at Westminster Abbey and the relic was reverenced at St Margaret’s Westminster Abbey and later in the week the relics visited the Houses of Parliament and were placed on the Altar in St Mary’s Undercroft the relics later moved to Rochester Cathedral and finally Canterbury Cathedral. During all these visits the opportunity for prayer and discussion on St Thomas’s relevance to the modern world was central.
The Archbishop of Canterbury graciously hosted an academic symposium at Lambeth Palace, sponsored by The Christian Heriage Centre at Stonyhurst. Following a welcome from the Hungarian Foreign Minister and Hungarian Ambassador the following addressed the distinguished gathering: Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of Westminster, Bishop of Szeged-Csanad, Prof. Eamon Duffy, Prof. Peter Marshall, Prof. Alexandra Walsham, Prof. Peter Davidson and Jan Graffius (Stonyhurst College).
“It reminds all Christians that there comes a point where their loyalty to Christ becomes the overriding loyalty of their lives and they might have to pay a final price,” – Cardinal Nicholas, Archbishop of Westminster.