By LEO P. CRANGLE
THE title of " The holiest place in Britain, which Fr. Leo Hart, D.D., M.A., gave to Lindisfarne, or Holy island, In a booklet he wrote on the " Isle of Saints," Is perhaps not likely to attract hikers or campers. yet there is a plan now to encourage and develop a site on the island as a Catholic camping centre.
Catholics all over the country may well be happy to know that an effort is to he made In hold on to the little link of the Faith which remains on an Island to which we all owe so much.
For it was from here that St. Aldan began his work of converting the people of the North and it was front Holy Island that St. Cuthbert and others followed in his footsteps.
Holy Island is already a popular place for people who like a secluded and peaceful holiday, and now Fr. John Corrigan, parish priest of
St. Edward's. Lowirk, in whose
parish the island lies, is seeking about £5,000 to develop the present little camping site.
Already on the Island is a house owned by the Hexham and Newcastle diocese for many years. In summertime it has housed priests on holiday. Attached to it is about half an acre of land.
Bishop McCormack has now given permission for the site to be developed as a Catholic camping centre, and it is hoped that the first part of the work will be usable by July.
In place of tents, it is hoped, sleeping huts will eventually he provided.
Very soon, then, young people by the score will he treading those very sands which are hallowed by the footsteps of the Northern Saints and Kings who brought the Faith in such strength to the North.
Prof. Bright, Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Oxford, wrote: "No sacred spot In Britain Is worthier of a reverential visit than this Holy Island of St. Aldan and his successors "—a thought which had been voiced 1.000 years earlier by Alcuin, who described Lindisfarne as " The most venerable place in Britain."
When Prince Cadwallon. the Welsh invader, had the Northern counties at his mercy. the Christian King Oswald of Northumbria gathered his forces and, calling on them to kneel and pray before a rough wood crucifix which he himself had made, went forward to do battle with Cadwallon, defeating him at a place afterwards called Heavenfieid, near Hexham.
Oswald set about the task of restoring the Faith which Paulinus and King Edwin had brought to the people. He sent to the monastery of lona, which he had known as a boy, for priests to come to his land and convert the people from paganism.
St. Cuthbert, too
Before Aldan set out for Lindisfarne he was consecrated a Bishop and on arrival at Oswald's royal court he was given I,indisfarne, which became his episcopal see. It was front here that he carried out his work of converting the whole of Northambria.
Young Catholics can remember, too, that it was St. Aidan who established the first seminary in those parts. having C hosen 12 Northumbrian youths whom he himself trained.
The island is known In the people of the North almost as much from the story of St. Cuthbert as it is of St. Aidan, for Cuthbert also was Bishop of Lindisfarne and it was while on a visit to Bamburgh, whose great castle ruins on the 'mainland still stand, that he died.
He was buried on Lindisfarne, and remained there for some 200 years before the monks, who were driven from the island by the marauding Danes. set off on their long journey which eventually brought them to Durham with the body of St. Cuthbert, over which the great cathedral now stands.
SOUTH West England, particularly Devon and Cornwall, is one of the most popular of all Britain's holiday areas. It is perhaps significant that to reach Salcombe. Devon. one must go by train to Kingshridge (and even this means a change) and from there take a bus to Salcombe itself, unless, of course. one is lucky enough to be travelling by car.
In Salcombe itself you enjoy the relaxation which seems to be ssnonymous with this county. You may stay at one of the two large hotels, or a smaller one, or stay on one of the many houseboats moored in and around Salcombe Harbour.
A walk to Gara Rocks, past the famous bar immortalised by Tennyson's poem " Sunset and Evening Star," will live with the traveller through many weary winter months. There is also some I nteresting church architecture of the 19th century in villages in the Salcombe district.
It is hardly necessary to mention Torquay, Paignton, and Sidmouth in Devon, and the Cornishman will naturally advance many claims to the preference of his county—St. Ives, the painters' paradise, Bodinin in its woody valley standing across the main route from the south to the north coast, and not forgetting Fowey. On page two may be found suggestions as to hotels tn this disnict which may interest readers.
Enquiries regarding travel should be sent to : Going Away, "Catholic Herald," 67, Meet