The Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst College has received £2 million from the Theodore Trust.
During a parliamentary reception at the House of Lords last week, Fr John Barnes, chairman of the Theodore Trust, presented a cheque to the Christian Heritage Centre which will contribute towards a retreat, study and leadership centre. Lord Alton of Liverpool, who is chairman of the Christian Heritage Centre Trust, hosted the reception.
The donation was received on behalf of the trustees of the Christian Heritage Centre by the project’s royal patrons Lord and Lady Nicholas Windsor.
It is the last donation to be made by the Theodore Trust, an organisation founded to make donations to churches, charities, libraries and schools for the “advancement of the Christian religion”, before it is wound up.
The trust, and the new centre, are named after St Theodore of Canterbury, a Syrian Christian who was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury by the pope in 668. St Theodore is venerated as a saint by the faithful of both the Catholic and the Anglican traditions.
Lord Nicholas Windsor said: “We are tremendously grateful and excited to have been chosen as the recipients of the Theodore Trust’s final donation.”
Lord Deben, a trustee of the Theodore Trust, said the donation was “an appropriate legacy for the trust”.
“We are happy to support such a worthwhile endeavour. We are delighted that the retreat, study, and leadership centre is to be named after St Theodore of Canterbury. Knowledge of their rich story will help Catholics to be more insistent about their place in British society and the Christian Heritage Centre will also celebrate the importance of artefacts and transmit the love of our faith to the next generation,” he said.
A spokesman for the Theodore Trust said it is being wound up “as the trustees feel that the Christian Heritage Centre at Stonyhurst is very well placed to forward its objectives… namely the advancement of religion, and Christian education.”
“The collections at Stonyhurst are a great asset that can be used for evangelisation and education, and this grant helps these assets to be used more fully,” the spokesman added.