Jesuits on BBC's Great British Railway Journeys

January 26, 2022

In Barmouth, Michael Portillo encounters a different group of holidaymakers also drawn to the Welsh coast.

Trainee Jesuits, members of the largest male order of the Roman Catholic Church, flocked to Barmouth during the interwar years to take a break from their strict regime of studies.

Michael Portillo met with two present-day Jesuit scholastics, Chris and Richard, outside the George Inn, where Gerard Manley Hopkins reputedly wrote his poem, Penmaenpool, in his visitors' book.

Michael also spoke with Brother Ken Vance. His initial question was that he was surprised to find Jesuits in Wales. Brother Ken assured him that the Jesuits have been in Wales since the Tudor times and were custodians of the Shrine of Winefride, Holywell for several centuries.

An article about Jesuits in Barmouth written by the Archives team can be accessed by clicking here

The programme originally aired on Thursday 13th May 2021 and was recently repeated on BBC4. It is available to watch on BBC iPlayer here

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