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An account of a recent visit to York by the Hallam Ascent Group

Ascent Movement (Copy)

  “On Wednesday, 4 May twenty members of the HALLAM ASCENT GROUP visited the English Martyrs Church in York for a day Retreat.  We were blessed with a glorious day and not a drop of rain!  We were welcomed with a cup of tea on arrival.

  “The Retreatant was Fr James Benfield, based at the St John Paul Pastoral Centre in Middlesbrough.  He told us some of his own experiences – his disenchantment with Church attendance during his teens until eventually leaving the Church at 17.  Having some talent in Art he attended college and, studying the psychology of Art learned that all civilisations have a figurehead and realised that something was missing from his life.  He gradually found his way back to the Church and was ordained.  He invited the group (there were members from Hull, Malton and York also) to discuss events or people who had changed their outlook on Faith matters.  A lively discussion ensued.  Father said that when we have children and grandchildren who leave the Faith we should not be unduly concerned as they often, by pursuing their calling in life, find their way back into the Church.  Father talked about the Year of Mercy and read from Sister Faustina’s writings.

  “Coincidently it was the feast of the English Martyrs.  We attended Mass in the church along with children from the church school nearby.  They led the service very efficiently and performed a short dramatisation of the death of St Margaret Clitheroe, interspersed with the Bidding Prayers.  It was a most memorable Mass – much appreciated by everyone.”