Recently we received a visit from Fr. Schofield, a noted Catholic author and historian, together with James Kelly of The Universe and Catholic Times (and a parishioner here in Chelmsford!). Fr. Schofield has recently published a work on “The English Vicars Apostolic 1688-1850” together with Fr. Gerard Skinner. The book, which is published by Family Publications “describes the dramatic Church history from the exile of King James II to the restoration of the Hierarchy in 1850. During this little-known period, the Catholic Church in England and Wales was led by Vicars Apostolic: local missionary bishops with authority from Rome. The authors describe the many difficulties and conflicts of the period: between fellow bishops, between secular and religious clergy, between the bishops and the old Catholic aristocracy, and the long struggle to preserve the Church from state interference. As the Church slowly emerged from persecution, we see it become more self-confident, working for tolerance for Catholics and benefiting from the change in political climate. From the late-Stuart era of bishops in wigs and frock-coats, we arrive at the bishops of the Industrial Revolution ministering to a rapidly growing Church. Covering each District of the country and each Vicar Apostolic, the book provides an intimate portrait of the towering figures of bishops like Richard Challoner, John Milner, Thomas Walsh, and many others.”

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