Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mass at St Walburge's, Preston

Allow me to interrupt the flow of appalling revelations about Bishop Kieran Conry with some good news! Yesterday the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, a priestly institute committed to the Traditional Mass, took formal possession of the stunning historic church of St Walburge's in Preston, with a splendid Mass in the presence of Bishop Michael Campbell of Lancaster, the Ordinary.

I couldn't make it, sadly, but here are some photographs taken by Martin Gardner: his complete album of the occasion can be seen here.


St Walburge's is not just large and a nice old church - it is staggering, one of the gems of Catholic architecture in England.


Bishop Campbell, who assisted at the Mass and preached from the fabulous pulpit.



Mgr Gilles Wach, centre, is the Superior of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. He is French, although the Institute's seminary is in Italy, near Florence. To his right (on the left of the photo) is the Rev Scott Tanner, a Institute seminarian who hails from Reading, currently a transitional deacon.


Bishop Campbell is in purple in the centre, Mgr Wach in blue next to him. To the right of Mgr Wach (going left, in the picture) are two priests of the Institute: the recently ordained Canon Francis Altiere, who was with the LMS on the Walsingham Pilgrimage, and Canon William Hudson. Canon Altiere, an American, is going to be the shrine custodian at St Walburge's. Canon Hudson is currently the only English priest of the Institute; he is based in Brussels.

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  1. This really cheered me up today, great pictures! Ad multos annos.

  2. I was keen to see photos of the great day at St. Walburge's - thanks for posting these, and the link to Mr. Gardner's site.

    Canon Altiere was one of the four Institute priests just ordained this summer in St. Louis at St. Francis de Sales Oratory. St. Francis de Sales is actually a comparable gem to St. Walburgh's - a soaring 19th century neo-Gothic edifice that had fallen on hard times. Its steeple is just nine feet shorter than that of St. Walburge's. We may now pray, with some confident hope, that the Institute of Christ the King may enjoy success comparable to that which it has had in bringing St. Francis de Sales back to life. Much hard work remains to be done (and much money to be raised), but the Institute will be able to rely on traditional Catholics throughout northern England for prayers and support in doing so - it's not like there's much competition, beyond the Institute's other parish at the Dome of Home, after all.

  3. Beautiful!

    I was present for Canon Altiere's ordination. That was a marvelous thing too.

  4. Just a small correction - the Bishop's name is Michael - not Patrick.