On a beautiful Tuesday in June, 30 members and guests made a most enjoyable private visit to Stonor Park where we were greeted by the owner, Lord Camoys, head of the family that has occupied the house and the surrounding rolling Chiltern landscape for more than eight centuries.
Knowledgeable guides gave us a tour of the house, pointing out the development of the property from the original 12th Century hall. Thankfully, many original features remained because of the financial and other penalties suffered by the Catholic Stonor family which prohibited refurbishment of the type undertaken in other large houses in the area.
Mass was said in the Stonor family chapel by Canon Richard Hearn, Dean of St. George’s Cathedral, Southwark, reprising the role he played in the Society’s visit to Canterbury Cathedral in 2015. We were particularly grateful to him because he had to miss lunch and the tour of the house to return to London for a meeting occasioned by the terrorist acts of the previous week. Canon Richard said he welcomed the opportunity of saying mass in the chapel, following in the footsteps of St Edmund Campion and other dedicated priests of the Reformation era. During mass we remembered our fellow member Claude Kauffmann who had signed up for the visit but sadly died the week before.
The photos were generously provided by Maggie Burgess.