In post-war Britain, many parts of the Northampton Diocese, having no Catholic Church or School, were considered "missionary territory" so a Travelling Mission based in Burnham was launched by Bishop Parker in 1949. This scheme had first been used by the Catholic Mission Society in 1911 and then adopted by various Dioceses in England.
Fr Anthony Hulme (later Canon Hulme), Northampton's first Travelling Missioner, used an Austin Countryman to tow a trailer which was a mobile chapel. The trailer, named St Christopher, accommodated some twenty worshippers. The van itself, without the trailer, could be used for open-air Mass by simply lowering the bottom half of the rear door which then became a platform for a small altar.
Fr McCormick joined Fr Hulme in 1959 and in 1960 he was in sole charge when Fr Hulme was sent to Bedford. Fr McCormick used a Land Rover as the van was not up to the job of 30,000 miles per annum. Neither was the trailer and it was retired when it became too decrepit. However, Fr McCormick designed and refitted a Leyland single deck bus as a mobile chapel.
The material in this collection was presented by Fr McCormick to the Diocesan Archives in both Northampton and East Anglia. His covering note [undated] stated: "With feelings of mortality I have gathered together what records remain of my seventeen years of Travelling Mission work. Unfortunately, I didn't keep everything but thought it might be a good idea to put together what survives for the Diocesan Archives of Northampton and East Anglia. I also thought that those who remember the olden days would like a copy. No doubt it could be said that I am blowing my own trumpet!"
Additional material dating from 2010 was held in box CH1 and has been incorporated into this collection.
McCormick, Robert L. Rev (-2015)