Author: goldengoofy

Laxton Hall – Documentary photography by Czesław Siegieda


Documentary photographer Czesław Siegieda recorded life in a Polish community in England from 1970 to the 1980s. Laxton Hall is a Grade II* listed building located between Laxton and Corby, Northamptonshire and is a residential care home for the Polish community.

Since the 1970s, Corpus Christi events have been held at Laxton Hall where a mass usually takes place in the afternoon and then followed by a procession in the grounds. These annual gatherings had not only a religious significance, but were also important socially for Poles in England.
http://bit.ly/2LJ6a4I

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Pitsford Hall – Documentary photography by Czesław Siegieda


Documentary photographer Czesław Siegieda recorded life in a Polish community in England from 1970 to the 1980s. Each year around Whitsun (the eighth Sunday after Easter), pilgrimages were organised from most Polish communities throughout the UK to two Polish boarding schools, one at Pitsford Hall for Girls, Northamptonshire, and the other at Fawley Court for Boys, near Henley on Thames. These annual gatherings had not only a religious significance, but were also important socially.

Pitsford Hall was a private residence and estate until it was sold to the Polish Order of the Holy Family of Nazareth, which set up the Holy Family of Nazareth Convent School in 1947, run by the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, as a Polish school for emigrant children.

The school closed in 1984 and the estate was subsequently sold to the Northamptonshire Independent Grammar School Charity Trust Ltd, which opened a new school in September 1989, the Northamptonshire Grammar School (now Pitsford
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Religion and Traditions – Documentary photography by Czesław Siegieda


Documentary photographer Czesław Siegieda recorded life in a Polish community in England from 1970 to the 1980s. One of the most beautiful and revered Polish Christmas traditions is the “breaking of the Opłatek” or “Opłatki”. The ‘Opłatki’ tradition originated in Poland during early Christian times. This custom began with a simple white wafer, baked from flour and water; the wafers display Christmas images, such as the Nativity.

Usually, the eldest member of the family will begin the ritual by breaking off a piece of the wafer and passing it to another family member with a blessing. This blessing can simply consist of what you desire for your loved one in the upcoming year – whether it be good health, success, or happiness. The purpose of this act is primarily to express one’s unconditional love and forgiveness for each member of the family.
http://bit.ly/2LInA1b

First Holy Communion – Documentary photography by Czesław Siegieda


Documentary photographer Czesław Siegieda recorded life in a Polish community in England from 1970 to the 1980s. May is a busy month for Polish Catholics because 8 year olds have their First Holy Communion. The church ceremony is a watershed event in the life of Catholic children, and their parents.

The Catholic Church’s view is that First Holy Communion aims to prepare a child for a religious and pious life. In the build up to the event, children receive instruction in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Girls wear white dresses with garlands (crowns) made of white flowers on their heads to show their innocence. Boys carry candles. A party follows the church service.
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The Priest – Documentary photography by Czesław Siegieda


Documentary photographer Czesław Siegieda recorded life in a Polish community in England from 1970 to the 1980s. Loughborough’s Polish priest Father Juliusz Kaczorowski was born in 1909 in Rzeszów, south-east Poland. He graduated from Lwów Seminary, studied at the Theological Faculty of the Jan Kazimierz University in Lwów, and was ordained a priest in 1932. He was vicar of a parish and a religion teacher in Stanisławów and was there at the time of the Soviet occupation at the outbreak of World War II.
http://bit.ly/2LHAwEH

Polish Church – Documentary photography by Czesław Siegieda


Documentary photographer Czesław Siegieda recorded life in a Polish community in England from 1970 to the 1980s. Catholicism was a major source of strength to my parents’ generation, and was seen as so important that the Poles in exile had their own network of priests and parishes in Britain. Much of the Polish community’s life in Loughborough centred around the local Catholic church and Polish Social Club.

Religion was an expression of nationality, and the practice of Catholicism helped everyone to retain some sense of identity and culture.
http://bit.ly/2IYzMsV

Polish School – Documentary photography by Czesław Siegieda


Documentary photographer Czesław Siegieda recorded life in a Polish community in England from 1970 to the 1980s. Organising and supporting Polish Saturday morning schools was considered by the local Polish community as one of their most important tasks, i.e. a duty towards their children.

An integral part of keeping the flame of Polish freedom alive in exile was a struggle to maintain Polishness in the new generation. Thus, a morning school was held on Saturdays for British-born children of Polish families to teach them Polish history, geography, religion and the Polish language.
http://bit.ly/2LJv8Rl