Letter to the Editor of the Tablet 20th Jan 1883. SIR,—Allow me to call the attention of your readers to my appeal in your columns. It is my last appeal. It is indeed most urgently needed that I should build next March at Oakham. Souls are perishing.
The land is there lying waste. I have money to build a shelter, but I think it my duty to build a proper chapel. I must, therefore, gather in some more money. We Catholics appear in a ridiculous manner, as advertised in a local almanack, "Catholic worship at Oakham in the Red Lion." How can we get respectable Protestants to the back premises of a public-house to witness Catholic worship ?
For the establishment, therefore, of a mission at Oakham, for the honour of SS. Joseph and Edith, to whom the new chapel is to be dedicated, who will send me a generous contribution ?
Some may ask why the new mission church at Oakham is to be called St. Joseph and St. Edith ? This is my answer. Egypt was saved from famine and distress by the providential influence of Joseph. The whole county of Rutland has no Catholic place of worship except the distant private chapel attached to Exton House, and certainly the ignorance of and strong prejudice against the one true Faith is a real spiritual famine and distress all over the county. Let us bring St. Joseph's name and power into the capital of the county. Then, again, we know that Edward the Confessor gave " Roteland "to his Queen, Edith ; and we wish to place the same " Rutland " under the protection of St. Edith, so that the old Catholic Faith, of which she was so bright an ornament, and which caused so many fine old churches to be built in Rutland, may once more revive and bring light into the darkness of heresy.
I am organising a lottery as a last effort towards building "St. Joseph's and St. Edith's," Oakham. Who will send me a nice prize for my drawing ? Let me not appeal in vain. I am ready to work. May St. Joseph especially bless my benefactors.
Yours sincerely, E. A. VAN DALE. Exton, Oakham.