The Catholic Police Guild National Executive Committee (NEC) is the executive arm of the Guild. Each of the NEC’s Officers, with the exception of the President, serves a one year term. However, incumbent members may stand for reselection at the Annual AGM.
The new President of the Guild is Bernard Luckhurst. Bernard is a retired Commander from the Metropolitan Police.
The newly appointed Chairman of the Catholic Police Guild (June 2015) is Donna Allen.
Donna is a divisional uniform Superintendent for Tameside, Greater Manchester Police.
Since joining the force initially as a cadet, Donna has served across a number of divisions and various departments including CID, uniform and training. Prior to her move to Tameside in September 2014, she served with the Specialist Operations Branch and was responsible for The Tactical Aid Unit, Air Support, Underwater Search, ANPR Intercept Team and the Force Events Section, planning football, large-scale public order events and political party conferences. She has recently served in Northern Ireland for the G8 and in Gwent for the NATO Summit.
If you were to ask her what her favourite role is she would say that of a force hostage negotiator, a position she’s held for the last 10 years.
Donna took a break from her career to have her children. Donna is married to Cliff, a retired Police Officer now working with GMP.
She enjoys her holidays, a good cheese board, spending time with her girls, walking, fundraising and raising awareness for the eating disorder charity BEAT and also the British Heart Foundation.
Donna is in the parish of St Monica’s, Flixton, Manchester in the Diocese of Shrewsbury. She is delighted to have been given the role as national chair for the Catholic Police Guild of England & Wales and is honoured and excited to take the Guild forward in the next few challenging years for the Police Service. She asks you for your support and prayers for her and the Guild and urges you to take an active part spreading the name of the Guild to serving officers & staff, colleagues, family and friends.
Fr Barry Lomax was born in Pendleton, Salford in 1958. After his formal education was completed in 1974 he started work for the Farnworth & Walkden Co-op in their Furniture Dept. In 1976 he began a career as a funeral director for a small family company in Salford where he remained for the next 10 years obtaining several professional qualifications.
In 1986 he was accepted for training for the Priesthood by the then Bishop of Salford, Rt Rev. Patrick A. Kelly. From 1986-88, he attended Campion House, Osterley, a Jesuit College in London for late vocations. In 1988 he continued his studies for the Priesthood at St. Cuthbert’s Seminary, Ushaw, Co. Durham, and was ordained Deacon at St. Cuthbert’s Seminary, Ushaw on 26th June 1992 and ordained Priest for the Diocese of Salford at St. Hugh of Lincoln Church, Stretford on 27th June 1993. Bishop Kelly was Principal Celebrant on both occasions.
He has undertaken a number of appointments within his Diocese both as a Chaplain, Assistant and Parish Priest. Most recently in 2009 has was appointed Parish Priest of St. Mark’s Pendlebury, Swinton and in 2010 he also accepted responsibility as Parish Priest of St. Mary’s Swinton.
In 2000 he became Divisional Chaplain to G.M.P. Oldham (Q Division).
Chris Sloan is the newly appointed Secretary of the Catholic Police Guild (June 2012). He is a serving Officer in the Metropolitan Police Service. He has been a member of the Guild for most of his Police service. Has been a member of the National Executive Committee for about fifteen years. In that time he has performed the role of Membership Secretary and Chairman for the Guild.
The Guild holds an Annual General Meeting that is open to all members of the Guild. The election of members to the National Executive Committee (NEC) takes place at this meeting.
The NEC is entrusted by members to run the Guild. The NEC meets throughout the year. The NEC will invite a Guild member to act as Chairman.
A member or person associated with the Police Service may also be invited by the NEC to act as President for a term of three years, which can be renewed. The CPG NEC has not appointed a President for many years. Previously this role was held by a senior Catholic cleric, often the Administrator of Westminster Cathedral.
However, in June 2010 the NEC decided to appoint a president once again. They chose Patrick J Somerville QPM, a previous Chairman of the CPG on two occasions. He is the first Catholic layman to be appointed to this position in the history of the guild
The Guild undertakes a number of activites throughout the year. These include our annual events, stewarding and local branch events.
The Guild also undertakes bi-annual pilgrimages.
The Catholic Police Guild year revolves around several annual events:
Mass to mark the foundation of the Guild on the Feast of Corpus Christi in 1914 (usually held on the Thursday before, as this Feast is now celebrated in England & Wales on a Sunday in June)
Mass to mark the Feast of St Michael the Archangel (29th September), the Patron Saint of the Guild
Requiem Mass for deceased Police Officers and Staff, held at Westminster Cathedral; this is usually held in November
A strong charism of the Catholic Police Guild is stewarding.
Catholic Police Guild members have a strong association with Westminster Cathedral. Members often help with stewarding duties throughout the year.
Every October Guild members carry the statue of Our Lady in procession from Westminster Cathedral to Brompton Oratory on behalf of the Rosary Crusade of Reparation.
Both in 1982 with the visit of his Holiness Pope John Paul II and more recently in 2010 with the visit of his Holiness Pope Benedict XVI the Catholic Police Guild assisted with the stewarding of these events.
In 1982 the lead was taken by the late Michael Jeffers. At the time he was a Chief Superintendent in the Metropolitan Police as well as the Chairman of the Guild. In recognition of his efforts the late Cardinal Basil Hume made him a Knight of St Gregory.
In 2010 the Catholic Police Guild was asked to take the lead in organising the Stewarding for the Papal Mass held at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday 18 September. The lead was taken by the current Guild President Patrick Sommervile.
The Guild undertakes bi-annual pilgrimages to various important holy places, including Rome, the Holy Land, Fátima, Portugal, Santiago de Compostella in Spain and Poland.
In 1985 the Guild went on Pilgrimage to Rome to celebrate its seventieth year of foundation. During this Pilgrimage the Guild was addressed by His Holiness Pope John Paul II.
You can find the full text of the Holy Father’s address to the Guild here:
Mg. Canon Howlett was born 3rd, May 1863 in Kilkenny, Ireland, and was appointed Administrator in 1905-1947 (42 years). Whilst there he noticed many young Police officers attending Masses and this inspired him to ask them to form a Police Guild. This of course could not have been done without full approval of the then Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Bourne. In addition to this for the Guild to have been formed within the Metropolitan Police and to receive the name of “The Metropolitan and City Catholic Police Guild” also required permission and authority from the Commissioner of Police, Sir Edward Henry.
It was interesting to note that Sir Edward Henry was himself a Catholic and when he died in 1931 he was buried from a Franciscan Friary in Ascot. His only son died at the age of 22 years and is buried at Downside School and his two daughters left their estate to the Diocese of Portsmouth and many other Catholic charities. Sir Edward Henry also became a Vice President of the Guild in 1920 when he had retired from the Police Service.
Of course the formation of the Guild needed members and a committee to organise and structure its founding and in this regard three names back in 1914 are prominent, Sub. Divisional Inspectors Edward Brennan, William Lee, and the Honorary General Secretary Patrick Palmer.
The first Mass and breakfast was said on Corpus Christi 11th, June 1914 when 105 Police Officer members attended and so the Guild was formed. By 3rd, July 1915 there were 400 members when the three committee members were received by Cardinal Bourne in the Throne Room of Archbishop’s House when he agreed to be the Patron of the Guild. Since that date the Guild has always had the honour of having the Cardinal Archbishop Westminster as their Patron.
However because of the great War the Guild was held in abeyance in 1915/16/17/18 when only a small committee watched over affairs.
On Friday 31st, January 1919 at Daganis Restaurant, Great Portland Street, an annual general meeting was held with 90 members and the new reorganised committee was formed and elected. The Chaplain was Rev. Father A Reardon, although he would be replaced by Rev Father William Wood in 1920 who would remain Chaplain until 1936.
Mrg Canon Howlett resigned from being President following the annual requiem Mass on 13th, November 1947, after 33 years as President. He died fifteen months later on 17th, February 1949.. He stated that one of his proudest days was when the Guild was received by Pope Pius XI during the Guild Pilgrimage to Rome in 1927. The Guild is the oldest vocational Guild in the U.K. The Guild was to return to Rome to celebrate its 50th, Anniversary in 1964 and of course to celebrate its Centenary in 2014.
Both Patrick Somerville our present President and Maurice Smith our Treasurer are the only two members who were present at both these Pilgrim events.
In what we believe was November 1923 the first annual Requiem Mass was offered for the deceased members of the Guild and this Mass has been said annually since that date. On 5th, November 2014, the 91st, Mass will be offered at the Cathedral and includes all Police Officers in England & Wales and not solely Guild Members.
In 1926 it was stated that the membership was 650 and by 1932 membership was recorded as 1004. the second world war was to have an immediate effect on membership and during the 40s 50s the Guild was to struggle maintaining its membership and subscriptions but by 1960 enthusiasm was to be rekindled and with a Pilgrimage to Rome in 1964 and other prayerful matters the Guild maintained a reasonable level of support.
In 1974 the Metropolitan & City Catholic Police Guild was renamed “The Catholic Police Guild” and endeavoured to broaden its appeal by incorporating members from other Constabularies throughout England and Wales. Once again with Pilgrimages arranged in the Holy land, Fatima, Santiago, Padua, Assisi, the membership began to grow slowly. Today with life membership, retired members and the Guild has just over 400 members and with the great help of a very good web-site its membership grows every month.
Upon Mgr. Howlett’s retirement in 1947 the new administrator of the Cathedral Mgr Canon Cuthbert Collingwood was accepted as the second President of the Guild and helped to steer the Guild to 1974 and its new name of the Catholic Police Guild of England & Wales. Because of poor health he was to retire. He died 11.09.1980 and is also buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery near the grave of Mgr Canon Howlett, flowers were also laid at both their graves in June 2014.
Crisis is not far away when dealing with the Guild and once again in 2008 it was very very difficult to find members who were willing to take on duties of the N.E.C. After Mgr. Canon Collingwood died it was decided at that time to not appoint a President of the Guild as it was found the Chairman role was sufficient to guide the committee. However in 2011 Patrick Somerville was asked to take on the role of being President changing with the tradition from 1914 to 1979 of having a member of the clergy. Patrick accepted the role for three years once again to support and advise the NEC committee. During our centenary year he was asked to continue in this support role as our President.
At the CPG AGM on Thursday 10th July 2014 Patrick Somerville stood down as President of the Guild having successfully steering it back to health and growth over the last few years. We are enormously grateful to him for all he has done for the Guild over many years.