Monday, October 09, 2017

ICKSP: good news from England

Mass at St Walburge's, Preston
The Institute of Christ the King have made a succession of very exciting announcements about their apstolate in the north west of England, historically the most Catholic part of the country.

In addition to the landmark church, the 'Dome of Home', the Church of SS Peter & Paul and St Philomena, in the Wirral, in the Diocese of Shrewsbury, which they have run since 2012 thanks to Bishop Mark Davis, they were given the magnificent Church of St Walburge's, Preston, in the Diocese of Lancaster, which boasts the tallest spire of any parish church in England, in 2014, by Bishop Michael Campbell.

In July, Bishop Campbell gave them another historic church, close to St Walburge's: the Church of St Thomas of Canterbury and the English Martyrs.

In the meantime, in June they have announced their intention of establishing a school in Preston, in buildings which are being made available by Bishop Campbell.

Also over the Summer, the Institute of Christ the King has announced the establishment of a residential 'House of Discernment', a pre-seminary establishment to encourage those who wish to consider a vocation to the Institute in a formal way, to open for business this November.

Canon Amaury Montjean explained: 'This House is open to candidates to the ICKSP, both future seminarians and oblates : they apply for one of these lifestyle within the Institute. In other words, this formation to the life of the ICKSP is a common programme for both vocations, formation to Latin Gregorian chant, spirituality, Liturgy, spirit of the ICKSP community life essentially.

'Those who formally apply to the House will spend 9 months (Nov 2017 to July 2018) for an initial formation. After which they will be accepted (or not) at the Seminary in Florence (as seminarians) for the year before their Tonsure, or join a house of the ICKSP (as oblates).'

Some Sister Adorers with Mgr Gilles Wach, superior of the ICKSP
Finally, it has just been announced that as part of the plans for the school, a house of the Insitute's affiliated contemplative sisters, the Sisters Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus Christ Sovereign Priest, will be established next door: see below for more details.

This truly astonishing progress by the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest in a short space of time shows the growing confidence of English Bishops in the Traditional Mass and of the priests who celebrate it, and the increasingly established place of both in the life of the Church in England and Wales.

On behalf of the Latin Mass Society, I would like to congratulate Mgr Gilles Wach, who has been closely involved in all the necessary discussions, and the indefatigable priests and seminarians of the Institute in England under Canon Amaury Montjean, and indeed to thank them both for their hard work in bringing these projects so far. 

Much remains to be done, and those who wish to support this work financially please contact

The press release on the Sister Adorers follows.


Only two weeks after a second church (English Martyrs) in Preston was given over to the care of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, the Diocese of Lancaster and the Institute are pleased to announce that the Sisters Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus Christ Sovereign Priest, the female branch of the Institute, have accepted Bishop Michael Campbell’s invitation to establish a House in Preston in the Diocese of Lancaster. The arrival date for the contemplative (but not enclosed) Sisters has yet to be determined, but it is hoped that the Sisters will arrive as soon as possible to set up their first UK foundation at St Augustine’s Presbytery, Avenham, Preston.

The spiritual life of the Sisters will be an invigorating support to the life of the Church in Preston, and indeed the whole Diocese of Lancaster. The Sisters’ days will be centred around prayer - Holy Mass and the Divine Office in the extraordinary form, personal prayer and Eucharistic adoration in the evening, the Rosary, etc. Punctuating this rich life of prayer are periods of manual labour and intellectual training, including instruction in Gregorian Chant, Latin, Spirituality, Philosophy, and Theology, as well as the learning of crafts such as sewing, lace-making, and the care of liturgical vestments and altar linens.

The announcement today comes as yet a further ecclesial investment into central Preston and is the fruit of a close collaboration of the Bishop of Lancaster, Rt Rev Michael G Campbell OSA and the Prior General of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, Monsignor Gilles Wach, over the last three years.

Bishop Campbell upon making this announcement commented: “It’s a great joy for me to have the Sisters Adorers come into the Diocese, because I think it’s a great gift, not only to have such a strong and vibrant praying presence at the heart of Preston, but especially for the young women in our Diocese to see that some young women still choose this vocation, and that it can be a joyful and beautiful way to live one’s life.”

Bishop Campbell said he anticipates “an exciting collaboration” between the Sisters and the Priests of the Institute as well as with Father John Millar, Parochial Administrator of St John XXIII, Preston in support of the mission of the Church in central Preston.

Bishop Campbell concluded: “We remain very grateful for the historic communities who have served us so well in the Diocese over many years, and yet we are also so grateful for the new life that the newer communities - like the Sisters Adorers - bring to our future life in God.”

Monsignor Gilles Wach added: “Following the beautiful and encouraging opening of a second Shrine in Preston, this invitation to our Sisters from the Bishop of Lancaster is another opportunity to continue the mission of the Institute of Christ the King within the Church. The daily prayer of the Sisters Adorers will be a great spiritual support towards the work of the Canons of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest in the UK, and will also benefit the Diocese of Lancaster. Their religious life, centred on Eucharistic Adoration and the Consecration to the Royal Heart of Jesus will bring more graces to Preston.”

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  1. This is truly good news.

    Keeping in mind that the Sisters are moving into an empty property, perhaps those close to Preston who have suitable excess furniture (wardrobes, beds etc) may wish to consider donating them! Contact St Walburge's at Preston if you are able to help.

  2. The north east ... the North East?????????

    Ninety degrees to port, please.

    But very good news indeed.

  3. ....and I know you will also want to commend and thank Bishop Campbell too! This seems missing from, what is otherwise, a fine post.

  4. This was just utterly unthinkable even a few years ago.

    Ten years ago, you would have have given better odds for Martians taking over these churches and setting up houses of formation.

    Heartening news. Many thanks to H.E. Bishop Campbell for his generosity.

  5. Thanks Joseph a lot happening in this corner of England. Besides the Institute the FSSP are planning a Church in Warrington see

    There are more details of the proposed Institute School at

    In addition to the Latin Mass churches there is to be a new Syro Malabar Church opened in the Liverpool Archdiocese which will coplement a similar Church in already opened in Preston. The Syro Malabar have a distinctive and historic Rite of their own which is woth attending

    1. Worth attending NOT Woth attending !! Clearly I need to sign up as a pupil in one of the new Schools

  6. What is the health of the SSPX in Preston these days since the ICRSS (not ICKSP) moved in? Anyone know?

    1. My understanding is the Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Pii X (FSSP not SSPX!) are still present and active in Preston.

    2. You are confused, the FSSP are not present in Preston. Catholic orders and societies take their abbreviation from their Latin name and this can be shortened if it extend beyond 4 letters. Traditionally, at least.

    3. I'm not confused.

      The latin name of the SSPX is Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Pii X. Therefore as per your observation, this abbreviates to FSSP, granted one could add the X to make FSSPX.

      I know full well that the Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Petri (which also abbreviates to FSSP) are not present in Preston.

      Perhaps using an English abbreviaton does make sense?

      Incidentally, the Institute actually make use of French as you probabluy know and the title 'Institut du Christ Roi Souverain Prêtre' ICRSP is used on their official website.

    4. Yes, you are confused. The abbreviation needn't be shortened to the first four letters. The SSPX is commonly referred to as Sacerdotalis Sancti Pii X hence SSPX. Similarly ICRSS can be rendered ICR.

    5. Perhaps I am confused. But only as to why you tell me I'm confused when indeed I'm not! Let us end it there shall we.

    6. Fine. I'm glad to hear you are no longer confused on the matter of abbreviations.

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  8. A (different) pedant writes: the sisters won't be moving in next door to St. Walburge's (nor to English Martyrs): St. Augustine's presbytery is a mile or more away from each church, on the other side of town (and St. Augustine's church itself was, sadly, demolished years ago, apart from its striking façade.)

    There *is* a former convent next door to St. Walburge's, in the church grounds. I don't know whether there is any plan for the sisters to move there. (I do know both that some buildings in the church complex are in need of much renovation before they can be used, also that there are existing leaseholders in some others whose rights have to be respected.)

    1. Thanks, Simon, you are a fund of information!

      I think hearing vaguely about the disused convennt next door contributed to my mistake. It would be nice if they could eventually restore it to its intended use.