The Catholic Police Guild has a new London home
The Catholic Police Guild, with the grateful support of Rev Fr Alan Robinson, Rector, has designated Corpus Christi Church, Maiden Lane, as the Guild’s new home in London.
On Monday 1 May, Feast of St Joseph the Worker, several ceremonies took place to mark this event. Holy Mass was first offered for the Guild by Rev Fr John Scott; with music performed by The Southwell Consort led by Mr Dominic Bevan.
Representatives of the Guild then knelt at the altar rail whilst Fr Robinson led the congregation – officers, staff and citizens – in Consecrating the Catholic Police Guild in London to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
As Pope Pius XII wrote in his own hand in the year of our silver jubilee and banner, 1939: ‘Most sweet Heart of Jesus, grant that peace, the fruit of justice and charity, may reign throughout the world.’
Finally, having processed to the hymn O Sacred Heart, Fr Robinson blessed the Processional Banner of the Catholic Police Guild in London in its new position on display in the Church. Placed above the Confessional, it also highlights the connection between the Sacred Heart and the mercy of forgiveness.
The Catholic Police Guild was formed on the Feast of Corpus Christ, 1914 by Rt Rev Monsignor Martin Howlett. On its 25th anniversary, in 1939, the members gifted a Processional Banner, emblazoned with the Sacred Heart; now, a fine relic of Catholic revival in England & Wales.
During the Octave of Corpus Christi in 1675, Our Lord Jesus Christ appeared to St. Mary Alacoque, saying:
“Behold the Heart that has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and spending Itself utterly, in order to testify to them Its love; while in return I receive for the most part nothing but the ingratitude, contempt, irreverence, sacrileges and coldness which they show Me in this Sacrament of Love...”
Guild members through its history, and as evidenced in the intricate stitching on the Banner, have always had a strong devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is easy to see why. The Sacred Heart encapsulates thankless service, and love of peace, justice and family; it is also a refuge for all those experiencing trials in life and at the hour of death. Police officers and staff – especially Catholic police officers and staff – experience many trials performing their duty.
The Guild became a national organisation in 1974 and its membership, as for all Guilds, has ebbed and flowed. Hundreds of serving officers and staff have joined the Guild in the last 18 months, complementing the legion of loyal retirees, as it once again expands in London. All members now have a principal home in central London.
Alex Blatchford, Chairman of the Catholic Police Guild in London, remarked:
“The Guild is a venerable organisation with a proud history, supporting dedicated Catholics in one of the most challenging roles in British society. Since its foundation on the Feast of Corpus Christi, 1914, the Guild has retained strong devotions to the Divine Person of Our Lord Jesus Christ – both in the Real Presence and in the Sacred Heart. It is fitting that the Church of Corpus Christi (the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament) has become home to the Guild’s banner of the Sacred Heart, and thereby a focal point for Catholics in Policing. We are indebted to Fr Alan Robinson, Rector, for his generosity. “Guild members attend parishes across London, and beyond, and will be increasingly raising awareness where they worship, in the year ahead. We ask that all Catholics, whether associated with policing or not, pray regularly that we obtain the necessary graces of state to excel for all in society. “As Pope Pius XII wrote in his own hand in the year of our silver jubilee and banner, 1939: ‘Most sweet Heart of Jesus, grant that peace, the fruit of justice and charity, may reign throughout the world.’ ”