21st May, 2016 - Annual Church Service & Renewal of Vows



Commandery Newsletters

The Commandery produces a regular newsletter for its members, and copies can be downloaded here shortly after publication.

No. 43 - April 2013

No. 42 - January 2013

No. 41 - July 2012

No 40 - April 2012

No. 39 - January, 2012

No. 38 - October, 2011

No. 37 - July, 2011

No. 36 - April, 2011

No. 35 - January, 2011






Commandery Lotto

Now at the end of its second full year, the Commandery Lotto has raised over £1200 in the last twelve months. Anybody wishing to know more about the scheme, or wishing to join, should contact the Secretary, Confrere Brian Lee

Annual Service of Thanksgiving 

This was once again held at St Mark's church, Worsley, followed by lunch at the nearby Marriott. A further selection of photos can be found in the Blog.



Tony HIlton receives Papal Knighthood

We are delighted to report that Confrère Tony Hilton CLJ was invested as a Knight of St Gregory at the Church of The Holy Family in New Springs, Wigan, in April, having been proposed for this award by his colleagues from the North West Catholic History Society in recognition of his many good works, including the production of a number of seminal books: The Lancastrian Catholic Heritage (1984), The Recusant Historian's Handbook (1993), Catholic Lancashire (1994), and Anglo-Saxon Attitudes (2006).

The Papal Equestrian Order of Saint Gregory the Great is an order of merit bestowed on “gentlemen of proven loyalty to the Holy See who, by reason of their nobility of birth and the renown of their deeds, or the degree of their munificence, are deemed worthy to be honoured by a public expression of esteem on the part of the Holy See”.

The warmth and affection in which Tony is held by his friends in the Society was exemplified by the address given by Michael Mullet, Emeritus Professor of History in the University of Lancaster, in which he outlined the breadth of Tony’s scholarship. Tony is a member of the congregation at The Holy Family and a similar respect and affection was apparent when his parish priest, Fr Kevin Foulkes invested him with the insignia of his rank. Many of his friends from the History Society and the Order of St Lazarus as well as fellow worshippers in the church congregation were there to support him on this auspicious occasion.

The English translation of Tony’s citation reads:

“BENEDICT XVI SUPREME PONTIFF gladly acceding to a request made to Us from which we have gathered that you are most deserving for what you have done for the Holy Catholic Church and its affairs, and in order that We might give a clear sign of Our pleasure and appreciation, We choose, make and declare you, John Anthony Hilton of the Diocese of Salford, a Knight of the Order of St Gregory the Great. We bestow on you the right to use and enjoy all the privileges which are attached to this high dignity.”

Given at St Peter's in Rome on 22nd October, 2012
Signed and sealed by the Cardinal Secretary of State."

One of the privileges granted to Tony in that declaration is the right to ride his horse down the aisle of his church! Tony did not avail himself of that opportunity but, since the service was held in Wigan, he did insist that the buffet afterwards should include pies.

Annual General Meeting 2013

This year's AGM was followed by a moving talk by David Haywood, Gareth Screeton and David & Edna Green about their recent visit to leprosy projects in India and Nepal. A full report of the visit can be read in this year's national newsletter.

Following the meeting, an auction was held of Indian goods purchased during the trip, and this raised almost £250 to support a medical project in the Purulia leprosy village.


Picture Quiz

Our annual Picture Quiz, raising funds towards our leprosy projects, is now available to download here:

picture quiz AND answersheet 2012.pdf.

Although the closing date has passed, you are still welcome to download for pleasure. We are delighted to announce that the quiz this year raised over £530, and was won by Mr N Woodend of Ramsbottom.


Visit to India and Nepal

In November 2012, three members of the Commandery, together with three guests, made an emotional visit to leprosy hospitals, villages and schools in West Bengal and Kathmandu. A detailed report of the visit can be found in the Grand Priory Newsletter 2013, available from the Members' area. A number of photographs from the visit can be found on the Commandery blog, but please be aware that some of these are quite harrowing.


Commandery Quiz night 2012

Once again our Commandery Chaplain, Canon Christopher Cunningham, organised a splendid Quiz night at St Joseph's Social Club, Warrington. Over 80 people attended to enjoy the quiz, hosted by local Head Teacher Phil Holman, and a potato pie supper. The evening raised a superb £618.

Canon Cunningham presents the prize to the winning captain       

Visit of HIH Prince Ermias Haile-Selassie

The Commandery had great pleasure in hosting a special Ecumenical Service in the presence of Prince Ermias in October. Arranged by Bishop Doye Agama, SChLJ, who brought the Prince over to the UK for the week, the service took place at St John;s Church, Moston, Manchester in the presence of a number of members and guests. Afterwards the Prince joined us for some light refreshements and was introduced individually to all of those present. A professional DVD was produced of the service, and if anybody would like a copy, in return for a small donation, they should contact the Secretary, Confrere Brian Lee

Earlier in the week, Prince Ermias attended a Formal Dinner at the Carlton Club, London, where he was invested into the Order as Knight Grand Cross of Justice by the Bailiff, on behalf of the Grand Master. Both Bishop Doye and our Commander, David Haywood, were present at the dinner. A report of that event can be found in the News pages of this website.

Canal trip and other events

Our Almoner, Conseour Elaine Screeton, has organised a number of events during 2012 with the objective of raising money for our charitable causes. By the end of the year these events, many held in her own home, have raised in excess of £1000 - well done Elaine! 

The pictures below were taken on the Macclesfield Canal, where we chartered our own boat for an afternoon cruise and lunch.



Commandery Service of Thanksgiving - May 2012

The Commandery held its first ever Service of Thanksgiving instead of the customary Investiture Service. This took place at St Mark's church, Worsley, Manchester, and was followed by lunch at the nearby Marriot Country Club. We were honoured by the presence of the Deputy Bailiff, Chevalier Andrew Zsigmond, accompanied by his wife Dame Carol.



Commandery Annual General Meeting - April 2012

The AGM was held as usual in Tyldesley Scout Headquarters. During the meeting, the Commandery decided on how to distribute the £9,000 that was available from fundraising during the year, and afterwards the Commander presented cheques for £1500 to representatives of the RV Mission and DebRA, who had joined us as guests for the meeting.


Commandery of Londinium visit to Malta - October 2011

Several members of John of Gaunt joined the trip, and photos of the various events can be found below.

Visit to Valletta

Investiture Ceremony

Celebration banquet

Visit to Gozo

Vist to Mosta

Visit to Mdina

You can also see a video production of a selection of photographs on You Tube by clicking here

Quiz Night

Photographs of the recent Quiz Night in October can be downloaded at: http://demgreen.blogspot.com/2011/02/john-of-gaunt-quiz-2011.html

Carol Service 2010

Despite freezing weather over 35 brave members and guests made their way to St John's, Thornham, for our annual Carol Service to celebrate St Lazarus Day. A heavy fall of snow just before the service meant that several of those present had to abandon their cars on the lane and walk the last few hundred yards!

Father Christopher Cunningham produced a rather different service this year, focusing on the lighting of the advent candles, but interspersed with readings and traditional carols. Having a chance to sing at least took the mind off the cold.

Following the service 30 of us went to the nearby Royal Toby restaurant for a hearty meal, thoroughly enjoyed by all. It was good to welcome Barry and Dianne Uttley from Cumbria Commandery and Simon and Jane Gazzard from St WIlfrid Commandery to our event.


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