St. Ninian's, Tynet
Front the Abbot of Prinknash have just had the great privilege of visiting the oldest post-Reformation Catholic church in Scotland, St. Ninian's, Tynet, Banffshire, where I experienced a curious thrill at the thought that Catholic worship had gone on here unceasingly for over two centuries. To my great dismay, I discovered that this venerable relic of the past is being allowed to fall into decay and in a few years' time it may be no more than a heap of stones. Surely something can yet be done to avoid this catastrophe. 1 should think that every Scottish Catholic throughout the world would be glad to have the opportunity of contributing something towards the preservation of this unique sanctuary. In its primitive simplicity this church is a vivid reminder of what it meant to be a Catholic in the penal times, a lesson which is so difficult to visualise in these days.
I am informed that it is hoped to erect a•
new church, hut even if this may be necessary, surely the present building should be preserved as a national Catholic monument. As 1 contemplated this ancient building, now so forlorn and neglected and likely to collapse at any moment, I asked myself why there is no " Old Mortality" to come to its rescue, as did the hero of Sir Walter Scott's novel of that name, who, as it will be recalled, went about the country cleaning the grave-stones of the Covenanter Martyrs. To the impartial student of Scot tish history this humble chapel at Tynet has much in common with the graves of the Covenanters, both reminding us of the age of religious persecution which, thank God, has now passed, at least in Scotland. I can claim Scottish descent only on one side, but that side calls loudly for something to be done.
pi. WILFRID UPSON, O.S.B. Prinknash Abbey, Gloucester.