Forthcoming Cathedral Centenary
From Our Own Correspondent
As the result of the three-day bazaar held in the Circus Street Hall, Nottingham, last week, £1,000 has been raised for the centenary fund for the restoration of Nottingham Cathedral. The cathedral was opened in 1842.
Mgr. McNulty, Bishop of Nottingham, opening the bazaar on thc first day, mentioned that the pectoral cross he wears to-day is one that was worn by the priest who was responsible for building St. Barnabas Cathedral, the Rt. Rev. Robert William Willson, Bishop of Hobart Town, who lies with the later Bishops of Nottingham in the Cathedral Crypt. Born in Lincoln in 1794 and a convert to the Church, Bishop Willson was a Most remarkable man. In Nottingham he is rememehred as the priest who walked fearlessly in and out of slum houses in which people were dying like flies from Asiatic Cholera and where the living were afraid to bury the dead—this was in 1832—and also as a Man whose word was sufficient to disperse bodies of rioters whom the police were chary of tackling.
When he was appointed Bishop of Hobart Town, the Mayor, Town Clerk, and magistrates of Nottingham petitioned the Pope to allow him to stay. Of Bishop Willson's equally striking career among the chain gang convicts of Tasmania, Norfolk Island and elsewhere in Australasia and his efforts to reform the equally appalling conditions he found in the lunatic asylums in New South Wales, Archbishop Ullathorne has written in a Memoir which all Catholic libraries should contain.
After his death in 1866 Bishop Willson's cross passed into the possession of one of the Bishops of Shrewsbury, but came back to Nottingham to pass through the hands of Bishop Brindle and Bishop Dunn to the present Bishop. Like the Cathedral, the cross was designed by Augustus Welby Pugin.
BAZAAR'S SECOND DAY The bazaar was opened on the second day by Dom Malachy Brasil, 0.C.R., Abbot of Mt. St. Bernard's, Leicestershire, who said that this was the first time he had attended a bazaar, and referred to the fact that both the Cathedral and the Cistercian Abbey to which he belonged had started from very humble beginnings, mentioning that plans eventually used for the Cathedral were originally prepared for the Abbey, So humble were the beginnings of the Abbey that when a contractor offered to build for £1,150 they could not face the expenditure and it was then that Pugin offered to forego his fees for its erection if they would undertake the work, Appealing to his listeners to support the cause for which the bazaar had been organised, he said that no bishop in this country was more deserving than Dr. McNulty, who was a hard worker. This was the time to pay for his overtime and give him a war bonus.
The Lord Mayor of Nottingham, who was also present, supported the appeal, saying that in these days when prayer was so necessary, everyone's thoughts should turn to the House of God. and everyone should give all they possibly could to help on that wol k.
The Bishop afterwards presented Abbot Brasil with a Celtic stole in commemoration of the occasion.
ABBOT'S INTEREST IN DIOCESE It will he recalled that the Abbot gave a practical proof of his interest in the work of the Nottingham Diocese at the commencement of the war by releasing a number of priests of his community for parochial duties.
The bazaar was opened on the final day by Mr. J. V. Hutton, of Widmerpool Hall, who announced that he was going to ask Mrs. Hutton to select some suitable articles to send from the bazaar to the poor of the East End of London, who had suffered through the air raids.