Blessed Nicholas Postgate

Blessed Nicholas Postgate

Since his death Nicholas Postgate has remained an inspiration to the Catholic Community. It was to be over 100 years before the legal penalties against Catholics began to be removed. Although one of Fr.Postgate’s successors at Ugthorpe declared, “from the moors of Yorkshire Good Lord deliver us”, the Mass continued to be offered and the memory of Nicholas Postgate remained a source of strength. By 1768, despite the legal penalties a chapel and school were established at Ugthorpe, and a chapel was established at the Smith’s house, Bridgeholm, at Egton Bridge. A new chapel was built at Egton Bridge in 1790 and at Ugthorpe in 1810.

In these days there were not diocesan bishops, but Vicars Apostolic. For a brief period in the late eighteenth century Bishop Gibson, the Vicar Apostolic,for the Northern District lived at Ugthorpe. Bishop Briggs the last Vicar Apostolic, and from 1850 the first Bishop of Beverly was a benefactor of the new church built at Ugthorpe in 1855. His most significant gift was two chalices which had belonged to Fr. Postgate, which had eventually been entrusted to the Vicars Apostolic. This historical legacy brought Cardinal Wiseman, the first Archbishop of Westminster as a visitor to Ugthorpe, followed by his successor Cardinal Manning. It was part of what Blessed John Henry Newman called a “Second Spring” for the Church in England.

Cardinals have not been so plentiful across the moors since those days, but local devotion to the name of Nicholas Postgate remains. The road into Ugthorpe was named Postgate Way, by the local council. The Station Hotel at Egton Bridge is now known as The Postgate. The Postgate Rally, an open air Mass (weather permiting) has become an established feature of the Diocesan calendar. In recent years this has also become the occasion of a walk for vocations. August 7th is now observed as the Feast Day of Blessed Nicholas Postgate.

The cause for the canonisation of Nicholas Postgate has progressed so that in 1987 Pope John Paul II declared him Blessed, among 85 martyrs of England and Wales. The Postgate Society exists to promote this cause.

Blessed Nicholas Postgate Pray for Us.