The Christian Heritage Centre, located in Lancashire, England, documents the history of Christianity in Britain through an extensive, one-of-a-kind collection of Christian artifacts, relics, and documents. On September 30, 2013, the Centre’s royal patron, Lord Nicholas Windsor, Centre curator, Jan Graffius, and its chairman, Professor Lord Alton visited the CIC to discuss the Centre and explore the role of Christianity in Britain historically and in the contemporary world. They additionally related this to religious freedom in the 21st century, both in the United States and Britain.
Some of the Centre’s artifacts were on display at the Catholic Information Center during the talk, including a crucifix owned by St. Thomas More and a school book owned by Charles and John Carroll.
The Christian message has been an integral part of the language, thought, and cultures of the peoples of these islands for more than athousand years. -Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
Lord Nicholas Windsor
Lord Nicholas Windsor is a member of the Royal Family of the United Kingdom. He is a great-grandson of King George V, first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, and was born 12th in line to the throne. He was brought up in the Church of England, studied theology at Oxford University, and converted to Roman Catholicism in 2000.
Lord Nicholas Windsor is a member of the Royal Family of the United Kingdom and son of the Duke and Duchess of Kent. He is a great-grandson of King George V and first cousin of Queen Elizabeth II. He was born 12th in line to the throne. He was brought up in the Church of England and studied theology at Oxford University. In 2000 he converted to Roman Catholicism and was received into full communion in 2001.
He is the first male, blood member British Royal family to become a Roman Catholic since Charles II’s probable conversion on his deathbed in 1685. His marriage in 2006 to Paola Doimi de Frankopan, was the first royal marriage to take place legally and publicly in the Catholic Church since Mary I married Philip of Spain in 1554. Their eldest son Albert’s baptism in the rites of the Catholic Church was the first such in the Family since that of James II’s heir, the future ‘Old Pretender’, in 1688, on account of which James II lost his throne. On both occasions Lord Nicholas received congratulations from a number of Members of Parliament in the form of Early Day Motions.
Lord Nicholas has worked for the Refugee Council in London, the DePaul Trust for the homeless and in a school for autistic children. He was a visiting fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Centre in Washington DC at the invitation of George Weigel in 2008. He is a Trustee, in the UK, of the Catholic National Library and The Right to Life Charitable Trust, an educational body. He has written and spoken widely on the subject of the protection of unborn life, notably an article in the American journal ‘First Things’ which was subsequently entered into the United States Congressional Record by Chris Smith of New Jersey. He was elected to the Pontifical Academy for Life, an institute of the Holy See, in 2011.
Prof. The Lord Alton of Liverpool
Prof. The Lord Alton served for 18 years in the House of Commons before he was created a Life Peer by Her Majesty the Queen and he has served in the House of Lords as an Independent since 1997. Created a Knight Commander of the Order of St Gregory by Pope Benedict XVI, he is a founder of Jubilee Campaign, which works for religious liberty.
Janet Graffius MA FSA, Curator of Collections at Stonyhurst College since 2001, studied Art History at St Andrews and is currently studying for a PhD at Aberdeen University on the subject of the Relics of St Omers and their Significance for the Jesuit English Mission.