Breaking News - Another New Parish for ICKSP!

Bishop Michael Campbell and Monsignor Gilles Wach, Prior General of the ICKSP

Lancaster Diocese has issued a press release which states that the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest are to assume care of English Martyrs’ Church, Preston. 

This is a picture of the church building from the outside:

Bishop Michael Campbell and Monsignor Gilles Wach, Prior General of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, together with Rector, Canon Adrian Towers, have agreed that, as from the autumn, the Institute will assume the administration of the historic and landmark (Grade II Listed) Catholic Church of St Thomas of Canterbury & the English Martyrs on Garstang Road, Preston.

This move will enable the church to be open each day to become a vibrant shrine of devotion to and promotion of the English Martyrs under the care of the Institute who already have the administration of St Walburge’s Shrine Church, Weston Street, Preston. The new shrine will specifically provide for the celebration of Holy Mass and the other Sacraments in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. English Martyrs’ Church is one of two church buildings belonging to St John XXIII Parish, Preston – the other being St Joseph’s on Skeffington Road. As part of the arrangement with the Institute, English Martyrs church remains part of St John XXIII Parish and a priest from there will celebrate an English-language ordinary form Mass in the church, at least for the next 12 months, each Saturday evening. Recently, the Mass attendance at English Martyrs has averaged around 70 people and activities and voluntary parish involvement have become somewhat limited making it difficult for the parishioners to shoulder their responsibility for the care of the church building.

Bishop Campbell upon making this announcement commented: “We are very grateful for the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest and the dedication they have to evangelizing through use of the extraordinary form,” Bishop Campbell continued “The Institute has shown tremendous energy in conveying a sense of the sacred through their proven ministry at St Walburge’s and around the world. We are especially encouraged that their care and ministry in large and historic churches may also be instrumental in preserving English Martyrs church now and going forward.” 

Canon Amaury Montjean for the Institute added: “We are deeply grateful to Bishop Campbell for his gracious invitation. Our entire Institute family is very glad for this new apostolate at English Martyrs. Like St Walburge’s, it will be a unique spiritual home offering Masses with sacred music, daily confessions, days of recollection, classes in spirituality and doctrine etc”.

Bishop Campbell concluded: “Finally and importantly, the announcement of this initiative will ensure the future sustainability and patrimony of English Martyrs’ church; a building so dear to local Catholics and many others in Preston. Thankfully, this announcement means English Martyrs is saved from the prospect of closure and is thus secured for the future. The fact that the church will be used each day for prayer and cared for by the Institute means it will continue  


A parishioner told me that there are presently 3 priests at The Dome of Home in New Brighton and there is some exchange and co-operation between the two Shrine churches.

The ICRSP ordained 6 new priests last week. They have their general chapter in late August so any new appointments will be confirmed then.

Last week they had their ordinations in Florence - priests, deacons and minor orders - and the 3 UK 1st year seminarians received The Cassock with one being from St. Walburge's.

English Martyrs will continue to have an OF parish mass for the time being.

There are a lot more pictures and information on Bishop Campbell's blog here.

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