British Carmelites to celebrate 50th Anniversary of Province Restoration

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

The British Province of Carmelites is holding a number of events in the summer of 2019 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of being re-established as a Province of the Carmelite Order.


The Carmelites first came to England from Mount Carmel in about 1242. The medieval English Province was considered as ranking third in seniority in the Order after the Holy Land and Sicily. From England friars founded the Order in Ireland, Scotland and Wales. During the Reformations of the sixteenth century, religious orders were suppressed across Britain. Various efforts to re-establish the Order were made from 1688 until the early years of the twentieth century. The enduring presence of the Order was restored in 1926 when brothers from the Irish Province opened the friary at Faversham in Kent. Other houses gradually followed, mostly famously the restoration of Aylesford Priory in 1949. With the expansion in the number of friars, the possibility arose of re-establishing Britain as a distinct Province of the Order, that is, a self-governing region. The Province is at exists today was restored 50 years ago on 12th September 1969; then called the Anglo-Welsh Province, it was renamed the British Province in 1999.


To mark the 50th anniversary of the modern British Province, three events will take place to which all are welcome. The sites have be chosen for their historic significance to the Carmelite Family in Britain. Two of the events will be attended by the Prior General of the Carmelite Order.


1st May - Mass at Hulne Priory, Northumberland


Aeriel view of Hulne Priory.


On Wednesday 1st May 2019 at 11.30am, Mass will be celebrated in the grounds of Hulne Priory Northumberland, the remnants of the first Carmelite community to be established in Britain in 1242. The presider will be the Prior Provincial of the British Province, Very Rev. Fr. Kevin Alban, O.Carm. For full details and to register your attendance, see our Calendar of Events.


14th July - Mass at Aylesford Priory, Kent


Aeriel view of Aylesford Priory.


The feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the British Province of Carmelites will be marked with celebrations at Aylesford Priory (The Friars) in Kent on Sunday 14th July 2019. Aylesford was the second site to be establised by the Carmelites in 1242, and is celebrated for its connections to Saint Simon Stock, a medieval Prior General of the Order. Mass will be celebrated at 11.30am by the Prior General of the Carmelite Order, Most Rev. Fr. Fernando Millán Romeral, O.Carm., who will also give a spiritual talk in the afternoon. For full details see our Calendar of Events.


16th July - Mass at Lampeter, Wales


Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Lampeter.


Wales has long been an important place in the history of the re-establishment of the Carmelite Order in Britain. The Catholic Church at Lampeter, Ceredigion, was opened by the Carmelites on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in 1940, and was the first church dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Wales. The building of the church was overseen by Carmelite friar Fr. Malachy Lynch, O.Carm. Celebrations for the Province's 50th anniversary will take place at Lampeter on Tuesday 16th July, the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Mass will be celebrated by the Prior General of the Carmelite Order, Most Rev. Fr. Fernando Millán Romeral, O.Carm. For full details see our Calendar of Events.