Stonyhurst's Theodore House will provide a Study, Retreat and Leadership Centre

The Christian Heritage Centre’s proposed new study and retreat building was blessed on Monday ahead of work commencing this week.

Stonyhurst’s Theodore House, which is presently an old mill building in a state of disrepair, is due to be renovated and turned into a Study, Retreat and Leadership Centre, providing accommodation for visitors and people conducting academic scholarship.

A procession from the statue of Our Lady at the entrance of the Stonyhurst estate to the site on the new centre began at 7am on the feast of St Joseph the Worker, after which a pupil read a short biography of St Theodore, after whom the building has been named.

St Theodore was a Syrian Christian who had to flee his homeland due to religious persecution. Having studied in Antioch, Constantinople and Rome, where he was ordained, he was eventually sent by Pope St Vitalian to be Archbishop of Canterbury and consecrated in 668 A.D. St Theodore is venerated as a saint by Catholics, Orthodox, and Anglicans.

The ground was blessed by Fr John Twist SJ, the College Chaplain. Present were Trustees of the Centre, Headmaster and Governors of the Stonyhurst College, supporters and friends.

The Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst counts among its patrons Lord and Lady Nicholas Windsor, as well as numerous ecclesiastical, parliamentary, and academic patrons, including Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Field Marshall the Lord Guthrie, Ann Widdecombe and Baroness (Caroline) Cox.

The building work, which will cost £4 million, is scheduled to be completed in 12 months.