The Martyrs of Gloucester
|Bishop Declan Lang of|
Clifton unveils the plaque
Catholic and Protestant
Martyrs of Gloucester
at St Peter's Church
The city's Civic Trust had worked with the City Council to ensure that the historic nature of the location, as the site of the first post-Reformation Catholic Church and school in Gloucester, was commemorated alongside the seven Catholics with Gloucester connections who were martyred for their faith between 1585 and 1601. They include Blessed John Sandys, priest, Stephen Rownsham, priest, and William Lampley, a glover, convicted of high treason for converting his relatives; and Thomas Alfield and Thomas Webley, who were hanged drawn and quartered at Tyburn for being priests.
|Catholic Bishop Declan Lang|
with Anglican Bishop
|Bishop John Hooper|
The current Parish Priest and Dean of Gloucester Father Bernard Massey said, “It is important that in a secular world, the courage and sacrifice by people of faith is an important witness to the world of today.”
On February 9th 2005, the Anglican Cathedral community in Gloucester had also commemorated the 450th Anniversary of Bishop Hooper's death by burning on conviction for heresy under the Catholic Queen Mary. This was followed by a series of Lent lectures, "Reformation and Reconciliation". The following year, in February 2006, members of the Cathedral congregation made a pilgrimage to Rome.
Here is the address by Mr Ian Hollingsbee of the Gloucester Civic Trust at the installation of the plaques:
Part of the role of the Gloucester Historic Building committee together with the Gloucester Civic Trust is to commission plaques for historic buildings or events in and around the city of Gloucester. About a year ago it was proposed that two plaques should be prepared for St Peters church, one for the building of St Peters church and the other for the Gloucester Catholic martyrs.
As a member of the Civic Trust council of management I was asked to liaise between the church authorities and the GHB committee and to this end I approached Canon Michael Fitzpatrick to suggest the erection of the two plaques. Each plaque was to have no more than 50 words and the wording itself was to be undertaken by the parish.
Canon Michael was pleased to accept the scheme subject to the Churches approval and he commissioned a local priest to undertake the difficult task of producing the content within the 50 word specification. Agreement was made as to the location of the two plaques and the decision to produce them in olive green so as not to clash with the stonework of St Peters church.