FSSP launches LifeFunder to raise funds for vital mission of ‘re-evangelizing England’ – LifeSite

WARRINGTON, England (LifeSiteNews) – The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter is raising money to fund the conversion of a new pilgrim center and retreat house in the U.K.

A community of traditional priests in the U.K. is seeking financial support in their endeavor of “re-evangelizing England” through practical steps. Led by Fr. Armand de Malleray, members of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) are undertaking the “Priory Campaign.” 

Based in the North-West of England, the FSSP is looking to greatly extend the operational capabilities of its church of St. Mary’s in Warrington, described locally as a “Nazareth in Lancashire.” Designed by the renowned Catholic architect E.W. Pugin, the church passed from the Benedictine monks of Ampleforth Abbey to the FSSP in 2015, becoming a shrine church in the process. 

Support the Fraternity’s LifeFunder campaign HERE!

Since then, the FSSP has seen considerable growth in the parish, as it has become a hub for the celebration of the traditional liturgy and sacraments, including the ordination of three priests from the U.K. province.

In order to best use the grounds and buildings surrounding the church, the FSSP raised money to purchase large buildings adjacent to the presbytery, named Priory Court. Writing at the time of purchase in October 2020, the FSSP noted how the buildings purchased were returning to their original purpose, being originally part of the parish and a former convent. 

Buildings purchased by the FSSP for the Priory Campaign.

At the time of purchasing the buildings, the FSSP’s campaign won the support of notable Catholic figures in the U.K., including Sir Jacob Rees Mogg MP, well known for his profession of traditional Catholic values in the public sphere. Sir Jacob wrote that “at a time when many sacred buildings are converted to secular use, St Mary’s retained its original purpose when the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter saved that beautiful Pugin church from closure.”

A sure indicator of a strong Catholic identity: four young priests were ordained at St. Mary’s over the past three years. More space is now needed around St Mary’s Church for pastoral activities. Acquiring the former Priory buildings next to the church would answer that urgent need. I am honored to support the Priory Campaign of fundraising.

Now, though, the FSSP in Warrington has fallen foul of rising costs in the post-lockdown era, and as such are looking to the generosity of donors to support their mission. 

Having purchased the buildings adjacent to the church, the priests aim to establish a versatile and large property for a variety of Catholic uses – a situation that in England is comparatively rare.

Floorplan for Priory Court campaign

The building will comprise a shrine hall capable of hosting over 200 parishioners or pilgrims. But it will also be home to a small shrine shop for the sale of religious goods, along with classrooms since the Shrine of St. Mary’s hosts Catholic educational groups for parents looking to provide their children with a safer form of tutelage.

Finally, the buildings will also be repurposed to provide simple accommodation for visiting pilgrims, seminarians or priests, particularly during the summer months when FSSP seminarians congregate at the church before leading the annual children’s summer camps.

Support the Fraternity’s LifeFunder campaign HERE!

Such a hub of activity would allow the shrine to offer the traditional liturgy, alongside authentic Catholic education, Catholic retreats for clergy and laity, as well as becoming a center for Catholics in England wishing to discover more about the Church’s ancient liturgy. 

“With us, invest in re-evangelizing England,” the priests write.

“The priory campaign aims at building a strong, Catholic community,” Fr. de Malleray stated.

“The priory campaign is about souls, about the glory of God. It is about rolling up our sleeves to rebuild the reign of Christ,” he added.