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Nailsworth-born Catholic priest scoops podcast award

Father Richard Barton in the George Inn in Frocester
Father Richard Barton visited four locations around the Stroud Valleys

A Nailsworth-born Catholic priest has scooped an award for a podcast he presented about the rise of Catholicism in the Stroud Valleys.

Father Richard Barton picked up Bronze at the Christian Broadcast Council awards for his 'Holy Footsteps: Blessed Dominic Barberi' podcast.

The podcast tells the story of the Italian priest who made a massive impact on local Catholicism and whose holiness was recognised by the Pope when he was given the title 'Blessed' in 1963.

"Dominic Barberi is a forgotten figure in Gloucestershire," said Father Richard, "and it's good that through our podcast and subsequent award, he might become more recognised for the contribution he made to the growth of Catholicism in the Stroud valleys during the 19th century."

The podcast was recorded at The George Inn in Frocester, the former Northfields House in Nailsworth, The Annunciation Church in Woodchester and St Thomas of Canterbury Church in Fairford.

"His work in Gloucestershire began with a meeting at a pub!" added Father Richard. "Well that's where we began our recording!"

'World famous'

The locations used were chosen for their rich Cotswold heritage:

"Woodchester Priory is an important landmark in the Stroud district and this podcast will explain how it all began and its close links with Woodchester Park Mansion.

"The old parish church at Fairford is world famous for its ancient stained glass; we visit another church just down the road, which, like its elder sister, is a jewel box of stained glass."

Blessed Dominic Barberi was an Italian priest known as "The Apostle of England".

He came to England in 1842 aged 51 and became a key religious figure in Gloucestershire and throughout the country.

'Models of holiness'

He was beatified by Pope Paul VI in 1963 giving him the title Blessed.

During his visit to England in 1982 Pope John Paul said Blessed Dominic Barberi was, "One example of the countless other priests who continue to serve as models of holiness for the clergy of today."

Aside from Blessed Dominic Barberi, Father Richard Barton added that the Stroud area had connections with other notable figures in church history.

"The Nailsworth Valley was visited by several famous religious figures during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, men like George Fox, the founder of the Quakers, John Wesley the founder of Methodism and the Gloucester-born evangelist George Whitefield.

The Clifton Diocese is the Catholic Church covering Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire and Bristol.

Click here to listen to the 'Holy Footsteps: Blessed Dominic Barberi' podcast.

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