Blessed Nicholas Postgate, Priest of the Moors, spent time in Pickering before his trial and execution in York in the seventeenth century. His crime? He was a Catholic Priest.
In July each year, priests and people from the diocese gather in one of the two rural parishes where he spent most of his time: Egton Bridge and Ugthorpe, for a rally and Mass to remember him, and ask for his prayers. This year bright sunshine lit the proceedings at Egton Bridge, and a visiting bishop reminded us of the story of Fr Postgate’s last days and how he called his martyrdom his ‘stairway to heaven’.
Two relics of Fr Postgate are always present at the annual Postgate Rally. One is the hand of Fr Postgate, held at Ampleforth. The other is the portable altar, a small slab of slate, that Fr Postgate carried with him right to his death, so that he was always ready to say Mass. That small altar is kept in Pickering, and every Mass said at St Joseph’s is said over it.
It was lovely to see this small altar carried in procession yesterday. It is now safely back at St Joseph’s in Pickering. Come to Mass and see it.