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 Registered Charity No 222796


St Joseph's R C Church

Harpers Lane




Tel: 01257 262713

Contact us:


St Joseph's


Lancashire Infirm Secular Clergy Fund

During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I collections were made amongst Catholics for the support of those imprisoned as recusants and their impoverished families.  Dame Elizabeth Allen, the Cardinal's sister in law was a prime mover.  By the time of Charles II, imprisonment and death had become much less frequent and it was now the secular clergy who had most need of charity.  Their religious confreres had the support of their communities in sickness and old age.


1672 is the date of the first list of benefactors in the treasurer's accounts.  

1675 is the date of the earliest known constitution.  From an initial membership of 24, including St John Plessington, it peaked at 920 in 1950 and 637 in 1995.


Initially open to clergy working in Lancashire and Westmorland the geographical catchment has varied over the years and was last altered when the diocese of Lancaster was formed in 1924.


The Rules, originally in Latin, were revised and issued in English in 1808.  Further revisions were made in 1860, 1870, 1880, 1893, 1930 and 1957.


The Fund continues to offer help to the secular clergy of the named dioceses who are infirm and in need, as part of a tradition going back over 400 years.



Secretary:   Canon Peter G Stanley, St Joseph's Church, Harpers Lane, Chorley  PR6 OHR

St Joes stained glass 016
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