Centenary celebrations for John Bradburne

A major celebration is taking place to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of John Bradburne, the Norfolk schoolboy who was martyred in Zimbabwe.

John attended Greshams School in north Norfolk, and after many years of wandering in England, Italy and the Middle East, finally found his calling as a lay Franciscan missionary at the Mutemwa Leprosy Settlement.

He refused to leave the settlement during the Zimbabwean civil war and was abducted and shot dead on 05 September, 1979.

Since his death the settlement has become a major pilgrimage centre, with thousands gathering for Mass each year on the anniversary of his death. In 2019, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome formally began the cause of his beatification.

The centenary celebrations take place at the Holy Name of Jesus Church, Oxford Road, Manchester, from 2pm on Saturday 25 September.

John’s poems are being put to music by world-class composers to be performed at the event, while poems commissioned for his birthday will also be read.

There will be performances by the Bury Choral Society, Zimbabwean Community Choir England and Wales and the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas.

Admission is by ticket only. Visit www.johnbradburne.com for further details.

'If such a wreckage should come to canonisation'

Credit: Diocese of East Anglia.

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