The beginning of my time in UH CathSoc, revisited


One of the first things I wrote about during my first few months in the university’s Catholic chaplaincy was the walking tour of Catholic London, or in my own words, “down the Tyburn trail”. I worded it such because our journey was to begin at Westminster and to end at Tyburn.

I just came across my programme sheet for that day lying on my table — I had not disposed of it — and I can now tell, in a bit more detail, what the Tyburn trail was.

The programme for last year is as follows:


Meet at Hatfield Train Station: buy day return tickets to London with day travel cards in groups of four


Departure from Hatfield; exit Finsbury park; take the Victoria Line to Victoria and then the District & Circle Line eastbound to Westminster

10:45 onwards

Westminster Abbey: Shrine of St Edward

Westminster Hall: Site of the trial of Saints Thomas More, John Fisher, Edmund Campion and many Catholic martyrs.

Take the District & Circle Line eastbound to Blackfriars, walking on to St Paul's Cathedral and site of Newgate Prison.

St Ethelreda's, Ely Place

Take the Central Line westbound from Chancery Lane to Bond Street.

Lunch at St James's, Spanish Place (George Street). Depending on the weather, Rosary at St James's or walking to Tyburn.


Tyburn Convent: Benedictine sisters close to the site of the martyrdom of Catholics. Mass shall be held there.


Note that we had also passed places like Lincoln’s Inn, and this can be evidenced from my two previous posts. I was the slowest walker (and I imagine I will be during the next round of trailblazing), trailing behind everybody else because I was so exhausted. I now know better to bring at least a snack and some drink with me.

We will be trailblazing from Westminster to Tyburn in the beginning of the next academic year, but the programme will have slight alterations (we will be picking different locations to end our journey, as well as to stop for a meal, I imagine). Today’s freedoms have been won because of the sufferings of the people who stood by the faith, even unto death. At a time when places of worship were annexed by the Crown, and supposed dissisdents tried in Westminster Hall, thrown in and tortured at Newgate Prison and dragged all the way to Tyburn on a sled without wheels to be hanged, drawn and quartered, there were those people who feared for their lives, and there were those people who feared for the loss of the faith as Christ Jesus handed it down to us.

Britain was once a land of saints, and was even home to one of the Doctors of the Church, St Bede the historian, whose feast day we celebrate today. The beginning of the academic year is a good time to remind us of this. There needs to be a revival, and as I mentioned in my previous post (albeit in French), people are searching for “love” but do not know what it is, let alone what it entails. The people who show love in its fullest are often shoved, pushed, ill-treated, or in extreme cases, tortured and persecuted just because they are. Just because they subsist as they are. There needs to be wisdom passed down to people like us, and what better time to tell my friends about this than the beginning of the academic year.

Also, the very thought that Britain was home to many saints makes me proud to be here. Coeur rouge

I hope, when October comes, I may be fully prepared to walk the Tyburn trail, and I may come back with the wisdom and outpouring of love by the Spirit of God. I will need to talk about this when October comes. There is a need to know what Britain once was, and can be again.


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