The Bishop of Lancaster has entrusted a beautiful Pugin church in Preston to a traditionalist institute.

The Grade-II listed Church of St Thomas of Canterbury and the English Martyrs will be Preston’s second church to be run by the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest (ICKSP).

In 2014 the institute was entrusted with the running of the landmark St Walburge’s Church.

The institute is expected to assume responsibility for the second church this autumn, Bishop Michael Campbell of Lancaster said on Sunday.

The move was at the request of Bishop Campbell and in agreement with Mgr Gilles Wach, prior general of the institute, together with the rector of the parish, Canon Adrian Towers. “The English Martyrs is saved from the prospect of closure and is thus secured for the future,” the bishop said.

“The fact that the church will be used each day for prayer and cared for by the institute means it will continue to witness to the faith and mission of the Catholic Church in Preston for many years to come.”

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