Catenians remember Brother Liam from Norwich Circle
January 30, 2022
Dozen Peterborough couples start marriage course
February 1, 2022
Show all

Bittering chapel, Torch Trust, painting competition

The story has emerged of Paul Hodác, a Czech forester who escaped from the Nazis, and built a chapel in the woods at Bittering, Norfolk.

The full story is carried in the latest issue of Orientale Lumen, the newsletter of the East Anglian Catholic History Society.

When Germany annexed Austria, Hodác signed up along with other young men, but when the Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia in 1939, he had no choice but to undertake a highly dangerous escape to Poland where he joined the Czech Legion, fleeing then to Romania, Beirut and France and finally escaping to England when France fell.

Hodác built the shrine in thanks for being given refuge from the Nazis. Although he had witnessed Nazi atrocities in occupied Europe, his Catholic beliefs remained unshaken. In his later years Hodác was very much at ease among the trees and utterly content with his lot.

You can read the full report in the Orientale Lumen newsletter here.

Last year 80 UK churches made the decision to become sight loss friendly. The Christian charity Torch Trust, which is running this initiative, has now released more dates for Sight Loss Friendly Church Tasters.

These 30-minute zoom sessions give you the opportunity to learn about the benefits of being a Sight Loss Friendly Church as well as meeting the team and having an opportunity to ask questions. The dates are:

Thursday February 10 at 2pm
Thursday February 17 at 7pm
Monday March 14 at 2pm
Wednesday March 23 at 2pm

To book your place visit:

Lucy Cockaday, aged 10, from St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School in Costessey, was the winner of the ‘painting only’ Knights of St Columba Nativity Scene Painting Competition.

The outright provincial winning entry, which was sent to the National Final, came from Lillie Richardson, aged nine, of St Pancras Primary School, Ipswich, who included a Biblical Chapter and Verse on the reverse.

Diocesan primary and high schools are invited to participate in the Easter Scene Painting and Prayer Competitions, and high schools in the Essay Writing Competitions. Families of individual entrants from parishes may contact Bro. Christopher Brooks, Past Provincial Grand Knight, East Anglia Province 27 on 01502 563208 or email

Pictured above is the chapel at Bittering (image: Imogen Radford), and below, details of the winning entries from Lillie Richardson (Mary and Joseph holding baby) and Lucy Cockaday (with baby in crib).