Groups and Confraternities
The Children of Mary
This was a group for young women. They had a uniform of blue
cloaks and long white veils, which they wore in processions and played
a significant role in the annual, May procession, carrying the Statue
of Our Lady. They did a lot of sewing and altar work looking after the
altar linens, preparing the Altar of Repose for Holy Thursday and they
also visited the sick of the parish.
The Guild of St Agnes
This was a junior version of the Children of Mary.
Guild or Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament
Members made a promise of monthly Holy Communion and Sundays
were allotted to either the women or the men and on special occasions
to both and this was announced from the pulpit the previous week. This
ceased to have the same relevance after Vatican II when fasting from
midnight changed to three hours and then as is now, to one hours
fasting before receiving Holy Communion. Also prior to Vatican II, many
people, out of respect for The Blessed Sacrament, would only receive
Holy Communion if they had been to confession the previous day.
The Sword of the Spirit
This is described in the Leeds Catholic Directory
in 1948 as a movement or Crusade, inaugurated by His Eminence, Cardinal
Hinsley, for the restoration of a Christian Social and International
Order, and a renewal of Christian influence on public opinion. It involved
Prayer, Study and Action. A group in the parish in the late 1940s and
early 50s used to meet every Sunday evening. Kathleen Murray,
who was a member said It was Fr. Hennellys baby
more of an intellectual group. We would read Scripture and discuss
The Youth Club
The youth club started by Fr. Cluderay in 1948 was held weekly
in the infant school and initially attracted a membership of about twenty,
growing to double that number within the following few years. The evening
would start with a few prayers before playing games such as draughts,
chess, cards, and table tennis and in the summer when the weather was
fine, a game of cricket would be played outside. In the summertime they
were more active going on walks to local places of interest such as
Temple Newsam, Roundhay Park or Adel or they went on cycle rides to
places further afield such as Otley, Ilkley or Wetherby. The special
treats in the winter were trips to the Theatre Royal on a Monday evening
when it was cheaper four and a half pence (less than 2p in todays
House prayer groups
These were initiated in the late 1960s, probably 1968 or 69. One
such group that flourished included many of the families living on Copgrove
Road (the Gilmartins, Rogers, Lanarks, Oldroyds, Walliss and Morans)
They met monthly in each others homes, reading and studying a
Gospel passage and used The Grail format for their meetings,
which was To See, To Judge and To Act.
During one of these meetings the group decided they should do something
to enable the elderly with restricted mobility to attend Sunday Mass
and decided the Parish needed a mini bus. Like many Catholic Activities
the need for funding led to the development of House Social Evenings
in the form of Cheese and Wine Parties using Home Brew made
by Edgar Oldroyd and Kenneth Gilmartin.
Links with St Aidans Anglican Church on Roundhay Road probably
started when the parish rented their hall for Mass on Sundays and Holydays
in 1935. Parishioners recall that following Vatican II in the 1960s
Nigel Bavage was invited to give a series of talks in the parish to
educate and explain to parishioners forthcoming expectations and changes.
Groups of parishioners started meeting with members of other Christian
churches in the area and Fr. Dwyer was invited to give a talk at St
Aidans about Catholic devotion to Our Lady. (Before Vatican II
the Laity were not allowed to take part in any non-Catholic or Protestant
service). Meeting Christians from other churches highlighted for those
Catholics who took part, their lack of biblical knowledge so a bible
study group was started in the parish.
One Good Friday in the mid 1970s there was an outdoor re-enactment
of Christs Passion. St Augustines steps were used for His
Trial before Pontius Pilate prior to the man who was playing Christ
being given a Cross to carry in parade towards St Aidans. The
man was then tied up on the cross and taken down quite ceremoniously.
In the third millennium the Churches Together in this area
are far less dramatic. They have a silent Good Friday walk carrying
a symbolic cross from Banstead Park through Harehills stopping at Potternewton
Park where they join other groups from other parishes in an open air
service finishing off with Hot Cross Buns and tea in Trinity United
Reform Church hall.
Shared prayer has now become the norm and each church in the Churches
Together group plays host in rotation to monthly prayer meetings
and over the last few years has arranged ecumenical groups during Lent
in preparation for Easter.
Left: Palm Sunday Walk 1998 Christians in Harehills
have a short service on the steps of St Augustines after
walking through the streets singing hymns of praise in memory
of Christs entry into Jerusalem.
Right: Good Friday 2005 Christians congregate in
Banstead Park before setting off on the silent walk to Potternewton
Park. Churches represented are St Augustines, Trinity United,
St Aidans and Harehills Lane Baptist Church.