Interim Safeguarding Coordinator

The job of Senior Safeguarding Coordinator is still open and applications are being received. Please contact the Diocese in the usual manner (e-mail or telephone) to find more information or to make application. The original advertisement for the job is linked here.

"Following Clare McKenzie's departure from her role on the 8th April, there will be a delay in appointing a successor. During this time, the role of Interim Safeguarding Coordinator will be fulfilled by Fr Joe Wheat, currently Clergy Safeguarding Advisor, working closely with Mrs Jane Black, the Safeguarding Administrator, and Mrs Joan McCarthy, one of our Diocesan trustees who has expertise and experience in safeguarding.

"This team will continue to deal with all safeguarding matters and offer advice and assistance as necessary.

"The contact details for Jane Black will remain the same; Tel; 07884 354729. She can be contacted during office hours and will deal with all routine matters and DBS processing enquiries. For all other matters, Fr Joe Wheat can be contacted on Tel; 07967 825278. The Safeguarding Office will be based at 1 Castle Quay, Castle Boulevard, Nottingham. NG7 1FW.

"We thank Clare for her hard work and dedication over the past three years; under her leadership, our safeguarding arrangements have become more robust and professional, and she has been extremely supportive to us all. We wish her well for the future.




"It’s a very special feeling to be so close to the Lawrence Chapel here, whose altar stone was found among the ruins of the nearby Beauvale Priory. What’s more, that altar stone may very well have been used by the Martyrs, St Robert Lawrence and St John Houghton, whom we are honouring in this special Mass, so close to the anniversary of their martyrdom on 4 May 1535.

"As you know they were both Priors of Beauvale Priory, founded in 1343 by Nicholas de Cantilupe and one of nine Priories to be built in England dedicated to the Carthusian Order of Monks who lived and worshipped God there for some two hundred years until the Dissolution of the Monasteries. John Houghton was Prior in 1531 for only a short time, because later that year he was elected Prior of the London Charterhouse. His successor, Robert Lawrence, continued as Prior until 1535. That year, those two, along with Augustine Webster, Prior of Axholme in Lincolnshire, travelled in good faith to meet Thomas Cromwell to plead for a dispensation, for themselves and their monks, from the new Oath of Supremacy which recognised King Henry VIII as head of the Church in England. But Cromwell had them arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London. When they refused to take this Oath, they were first hanged at Tyburn, and then, while still alive, they were savagely drawn and quartered, so making John Houghton and Robert Lawrence the first Carthusian Martyrs in England.

"St Thomas More, from his prison window in London Tower, saw the martyrs being taken out to Tyburn and, turning to his daughter said, “Lo, dost thou not see, Meg, that these blessed fathers be now as cheerfully going to their deaths as bridegrooms to their marriage?” What would have sustained these men during their imprisonment in the Tower and given them such courage and peace of mind to face martyrdom? No doubt it was their lives of faithfulness to God spent in silence, prayer and manual labour in the Beauvale Priory. There they would each have spent several hours a day alone in their simple cells in silent prayer and study, some time in manual labour to help sustain the Priory and its land, a little time to eat, and the rest in communal worship. Priors Robert Lawrence and John Houghton were men who had given their lives to service of Christ, not out of a sense of duty but out of love for Christ, whom they had personally encountered in their hearts, whom they wished to serve as his disciples, and whose love sustained and directed the way they freely lived and gave their lives as witness to him. When we stop and think about it, their generous witness is a perfect illustration of the living out what Jesus is saying to his disciples in today’s gospel reading:

“Make your home in me, as I make mine in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself, but must remain part of the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me…for cut off from me you can do nothing.”

"When, on the night before he gave his life for us, Jesus spoke in this way of himself as the true vine, he promised to abide within us and to nourish and make our lives fruitful: “whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty.” I do believe that the time Robert Lawrence and John Houghton spent in silent prayer at Beauvale, with hearts open to doing God’s will, was the foundation for Christ Jesus being able to do such great work in their lives, and also through their deaths. I say this because the blood of the martyrs has, down through the ages, inspired so many Catholics to live, and give of their lives, generously in the service of Christ. May their example continue to remind us of our absolute dependence upon Christ: “cut off from me you can do nothing”; that without his love, allowed to work freely in our hearts, we would not have the motive to live our lives generously as his disciples; without his promise, “I am with you always”, we would not have the courage to persevere in times of difficulty; and without the gift of his Holy Spirit, being given the freedom to work within us, we would not be inspired and enabled to do God’s will in our lives, here and now. What is certain is Christ Jesus also wants our lives to be fruitful: “It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit.” He is generous always towards us, let us in turn live our own lives generously in his service.

"St Robert Lawrence, pray for us.

"St John Houghton, pray for us."


Bishop Patrick McKinney