Pontifical High Mass for St Joseph’s Day

On 20th March, the Solemnity of St Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Abbot Hugh Allan o.praem. will celebrate a Pontifical High Mass in the Extraordinary Form at 7.30pm in the Church of Our Lady Immaculate, Chelmsford.
Prior to the feast, a novena to St Joseph will be prayed after all Masses, starting from 10th March. Both the High Mass and the novena will be offered for the good estate of the Universal Church.
All are most welcome to attend the Mass as well as to join us in praying the novena.
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1631 years since the conversion of Our Holy Father Augustine

1587 years since the death of Our Holy Father Augustine

937 years since the birth of Our Holy Father Norbert

924 years since the birth of Blessed Hugh

904 years since Our Holy Father Norbert declined the bishopric of Cambrai

902 years since the conversion of Our Holy Father Norbert

897 years since the first meeting between Our Holy Father Norbert and St. Evermode

896 years since the foundation of our Order at Prémontré

883 years since the death of Our Holy Father Norbert

874 years since the foundation of our Order in Britain

854 years since St. Frederick constructed the abbey church at Mariengaarde

824 years since the foundation of Teplá by Blessed Hroznata

814 years since the birth of Blessed Bronislava of Zwierzyniec

481 years since the suppression of our houses in England under Henry VIII

447 years since the martyrdom of SS. Adrian and James at Gorcum

437 years since the arrest and death of Servant of God James O’Mulkerin

435 years since the approbation of the cult of St. Norbert

390 years since the translation of the relics of Our Holy Father Norbert to Strahov

227 years since the closure of Prémontré

224 years since the martyrdom of Blessed Peter-Adrian Toulorge of Blanchelande

145 years since the return of our Order to England

74 years since the death in Auschwitz of the canons of Nová Řiše

13 years since the foundation of our canonry

9 years since the foundation of our house in Chelmsford


The Abbot and Community of St Philip’s Priory, Chelmsford, wish all our readers, benefactors, relatives and friends a blessed and happy New Year!

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Merry Christmas!


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A Hidden Gem in Rural Essex…

Today, our Sub-Prior and Novice Master, Fr Stephen, took our Novice, Br Gildas, to visit the ancient church of St Michael and All Saints, Copford. This hidden gem in rural Essex is famous for its beautifully preserved 12th century murals, which were whitewashed during the Reformation and rediscovered in recent times. Our Order was founded in the 12th century, and many of these paintings date back to the very earliest years of foundations such as Beeleigh Abbey — a local Norbertine house suppressed under Henry VIII and of which our Prior,  Abbot Hugh, is now the Titular Abbot.

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All the Saints of Our Order

Our Sub-Prior, Fr Stephen Morrison, celebrated the scheduled Old Rite Mass in our Priory Chapel on Sunday 13 November — the Feast of All the Saints of the Norbertine Order in the Traditional calendar.These photos were taken during and after the Mass.

St Norbert and All the Saints of our Order, pray for us.

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Welcoming the Abbot of Daylesford

This week, we were delighted to welcome the Abbot of Daylesford, the Rt Revd Richard Antonucci, o.praem. Abbot Richard stayed with us as part of a private visit he was making to the UK. The Norbertine Abbey of Daylesford is situated on the outskirts of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

On Friday, Abbot Richard was shown around London by our Sub-Prior and Novice Master, Fr Stephen Morrison o.praem. They were joined by our novice, Br Gildas. This photo shows Father Abbot with Fr Stephen at the tomb of Cardinal Manning in Westminster Cathedral. Cardinal Manning consecrated the Church of Our Lady Immaculate, Chelmsford, 150 years ago this year.


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Congratulations, Abbot Hugh!

hugh-allan-oct-2016It is with great joy that we are able to announce that the Rt Revd Hugh Allan o.praem, Prior of our Norbertine Priory of Our Lady of Sorrows and St Philip Benizi, Chelmsford, has been appointed the Apostolic Administrator of the Prefecture of the Falkland Islands and Ecclesiastical Superior of the Mission sui iuris of the islands of St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, ad quinquennium (for a period of five years). He was appointed to this post by Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation of the Evangelisation of Peoples.

In recognition of this ecclesiastical appointment, Fr Hugh has also been elevated to the title of ‘Titular Abbot of Beeleigh’ by the Abbot General of the Norbertine Order, the Most Revd Thomas Handgrätinger o.praem. Abbot Hugh Allan will continue to head our community in Chelmsford whilst carrying out his new duties. He will also continue to serve as parish priest of the parishes of Our Lady Immaculate and The Holy Name, Chelmsford.

Falklands and the South Atlantic Mission

As the Apostolic Administrator of the Falklands and Superior of the self-governing Mission to the other UK Territories in the South Atlantic, Abbot Hugh replaces Monsignor Michael McPartland SMA, who has headed both the Prefecture and Mission since August 2002. Having reached the canonical age of retirement and having suffered from ill health, Mgr McPartland recently submitted his resignation so that a successor could be appointed.

Abbot Hugh will now have responsibility for the Catholic community on the Falkland Islands and the other territories, and will continue to support Fr John Wisdom o.praem, who ministers as a priest on the Falkland Islands, and who is a member of our Norbertine community. Fr John has been in Stanley since August 2015, during which time he has built good relations with the Islanders and with the military community at RAF Mount Pleasant on East Falkland.

Titular Abbot of Beeleigh

In response to his appointment as Apostolic Administrator and Superior of the sui iuris Mission, the Abbot General of the Norbertines has granted Hugh Allan the titular title of ‘Abbot of Beeleigh’. Beeleigh Abbey, a former Norbertine house, was founded in 1172 near Harlow, Essex, and moved to Beeleigh, in Maldon, Essex, in 1180. It was suppressed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries under Henry VIII. Geographically, it is the closest former Premonstratensian house to the Order’s current Priory in Chelmsford.

Since the Reformation, the Abbey has served as a private house, and the current owners, Christopher Folye (Folyes bookshops) and his wife Catherine, are friends of the Norbertines in Chelmsford. They have welcomed the Chelmsford community to their home and, on one such recent visit, the now Abbot Hugh celebrated Mass at the old Abbey.

Upon hearing of his appointment, Abbot Hugh said: “It is with profound trust in the loving mercy of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ that I prepare to take up my appointment as the Apostolic Administrator of the Falkland Island and Superior of the Mission sui juris of St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, in succession to the wonderful Monsignor Michael McPartland.

“The day after receiving my letter of appointment, I visited Mgr McPartland in the hospital and he gave me his blessing. He also wanted me to pass on his blessings and his love to the people of the South Atlantic. In November, I will make my first visit to the Ascension Island and then the Falkland Islands. In the New Year, I look forward to making my first visits to Tristan da Cunha and St Helena.”

Reacting to news of Abbot Hugh’s appointment, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, said: “We are grateful for the generosity of the Norbertine Community in Chelmsford, and especially Fr Allan who will be supporting Fr Wisdom on the Islands and the other missions in the South Atlantic. We are also indebted to the work that Monsignor McPartland has done over the past 14 years. Mgr McPartland has been in poor health for the past few months and we wish him well as the responsibility of the South Atlantic passes over to the Norbertines.”

Responding to the news that a churchman now holds the title of Abbot of Beeleigh for the first time since 1536, Christopher and Catherine Foyle, owners of Beeleigh Abbey, said: “We are delighted with the appointment and that Fr Hugh Allan is now the titular Abbot of Beeleigh!”

We wish Abbot Hugh every blessing in his new role! Ad multos annos!

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