The Catholic Archdicese of Birmingham Archives

Collection details


Back to collections


CRE - Birmingham Catholic Reunion

Dates: 1855-1939

Number of records in this collection: 1043


The Birmingham Catholic Reunion was an annual fund-raising event for Catholic schools, held in the Town Hall. A Birmingham Poor School Committee of about thirty clergy and laymen had been set up by Bishop Ullathorne in March 1849 to collect funds to support the Poor Schools. Catholics were asked for subscriptions and donations but there was always a shortfall, so it was decided to hold an annual tea party, or Reunion, to raise funds. The first one held in 1855 was so successful that it was decided to make it an annual event, usually held in January. One was held every year until the last event in 1939, although the Reunion planned for 1868 had to be cancelled because of anti-Catholic sentiment and the 'Murphy Riots'. It took the form of a musical entertainment, with refreshments, organised by a committee of Management, with various sub-committees, and was dependent upon subscriptions, especially from Lady Patronesses. The last Reunion was held in 1939. The collection comprises fifteen bound volumes, mainly Books of Minutes, and a large quantity of loose papers, including correspondence, accounts, programmes and tickets for the Reunion, and a few newspaper cuttings, which reflect every aspect of the organisation and of the event itself.

Search the index using this collection: