Friday 5 August 2011

Shame the devil - Support the first Traditional Parish in the United Kingdom

As regular readers will be aware, I love the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest and this blog occasionally reads like something of an unofficial fan club for the order. The ICRSP (or ICKSP in English, but I'm finding the K hard to get used to!) are an inspiring and successful Traditional order with a healthy stream of vocations and are a solid bulwark of orthodoxy in an increasingly heterodox French church. They describe themselves thus:

The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest is a Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right whose goal is the honor of God and the sanctification of priests in the service of the Church and souls. Its specific aim is missionary: to spread the reign of our Lord Jesus Christ in all spheres of human life. Our work is carried out under the patronage of the Immaculate Conception, to Whom the Institute is consecrated. (ICKSP US Website)

In France they have flourishing parishes, run academically and doctrinally rigorous schools, summer camps and scout groups. They have 35 houses in ten countries, 50 priests, and more than 60 seminarians in 15 years. How often I have wished that we had an apostolate of theirs here!

Naturally, then, I was delighted by the news in June that the Right Rev. Mark Davies has invited the order to set up the first completely Traditional parish in England and Wales. It will be set up as a Personal Parish under the provision of the Motu Proprio, 'Summorum Pontificium' for all faithful attached to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. It is the first time that an Ecclesia Dei institute has taken over a parish in the UK, and as such is a breakthrough for the Traditional Form of the Roman Rite here.

The ICRSP will be taking over and restoring the church of SS Peter and Paul, in New Brighton, Wirral. The church is built in a classical style on a grand scale -- it was originally built by the contributions of the faithful, and the IRCSP are hoping that the necessary renovations can be funded in the same way. I'm sure that there are many,  particularly among the secular lobby, who would say "certainly that sort of thing may have happened in times past, but there's no way that it could happen today!" Let's prove them wrong and get this church renovated and opened on time for the Greater Glory of God!

 The latest edition of Mass of Ages  has an article about the order, the new parish and the church, as well as giving some indication of the momentous renovation task facing the order before the parish can open in September. In an insert to Mass of Ages, Canon William Hudson of the ICKSP says:

The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest is delighted to announce that it will be opening the first Traditional Parish in England and Wales. This is a major breakthrough for the Traditional Mass. The Bishop of Shrewsbury, the Right Rev. Mark Davies, has invited the Institute to make an important foundation in his diocese, based in the imposing church of SS Peter and Paul, New Brighton, Wirral.
 In September three members of the Institute will be taking up residence in the presbytery and starting this new  and hugely exciting apostolate.
But we urgently need your help to make this a reality! 
In the long term the church will need considerable work. But in the immediate future we are aiming to raise £40,000 to cover essential restoration of the presbytery and other 'start up' costs. 
Without your generosity this project cannot go ahead! 
Thank you for helping make this project a reality. 
Yours sincerely in Christ the King,
Canon William Hudson

You can contribute to the appeal  by sending a (UK) cheque made out to: Institute of Christ the King 
and sent to:
Canon William Hudson, ICKSP Brussels International Catholic School, Chaussée de Wavre 457, 1040 Brussels, Belgium

Non-UK readers could send an International Money Order in UK Pounds made out to the same details at the same address.

I would also ask you all to join me in an extra prayer for Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury who has made this possible by inviting the Institute of Christ the King in this momentous venture. Bishop Davies specifically wants SS Peter and Paul to be a centre of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and so "to be open to all Catholics and for it to be a model in this regard for the entire diocese" (Mass of Ages, Aug 2011, p15).

On so many counts it is important that this venture is successful -- not least of all because the Devil himself will want it to fail, knowing as he will how many souls a parish like this will save.

God bless the IRCSP! God bless Bishop Mark Davies! God bless our Pope!


  1. Great news. Wasn't this the Church mentioned in Private Eye that was originally earmarked to be mothballed which Catholics across Merseyside rose up to defend?

  2. It was -- the previous Bishop had apparently planned to demolish it -- but Bishop Davies responded to local appeals by reopening it earlier this year (; however it wasn't until the IRKSP plans were unveiled that its future looked assured. Sadly the Anglican Church that had been used in a "sharing arrangement" (ack!) when SS Peter and Paul was closed is now up for sale -- any takers? --