President’s New Year Message
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy New Year. 2016 has been a challenging time for us all both inside and outside of the Catholic Police Guild and there is little doubt that 2017 will be as demanding. In planning for the future of the CPG we need to reflect on the positive aspects of the past twelve months.
- A successful short return to Rome in July gave the participants an opportunity to make the walk to the Holy Door of Mercy at St. Peter’s carrying a cross down the Via della Conciliazione to publicly affirm the Guild’s commitment to the Catholic Church and to Pope Francis.
- The AGM in June saw the acceptance of a revised Constitution, which consolidated and updated the thoughts of our predecessors who formed the Guild in 1914.
- The feast on 29th. September of our patron saint, St. Michael the Archangel, was marked once again by the generosity of Greater Manchester Police where Bishop Arnold of Salford Diocese celebrated the Mass in their Training School Chapel. He was joined by our national chaplain, Father Barry Lomax, and regional chaplains Father Paul Fox (Essex) and Father Peter Tiernan (Manchester).
- The Annual Requiem in Westminster Cathedral in November, celebrated by Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, saw a record number of forces represented at all levels of the service. Some twenty constabularies sent police staff and officers and chaplains ranging from Chief Constable to police Constable and embraced various religions.
For the future we will need to build upon the work of the past in recruiting more serving officers to the Guild; the future must surely lay with those younger members of the service who will be prepared to take on the mantle carried in the past in ensuring that this important association embraced by the Catholic Church can continue for another one hundred years.
A CPG pilgrimage to Kraków is planned for October 2017 where the spiritual leadership will be provided by our chaplain, Father Barry, and is designed to be an uplifting and exciting experience as we visit the birthplace of Saint Pope John Paul II. More information will be published shortly.
May I conclude by thanking our Chair, Donna Allen, and all the members of the Executive Committee for their work on behalf of you, the bedrock of the Guild, and ask that you personally seek to recruit one additional member perhaps by bringing them along to one or more of the activities mentioned above.
Bernard James Luckhurst QPM
President. 30th. December, 2016.