Friday 1 August 2014

 Investiture 2014

Michael Sterland, Esquire

The Grand Prior of Great Britain, His Excellency The Much Honoured Baron of Fetternear, MBE, GCLJ, GCMLJ, JP, invited all members of the noble Order, Companions, their families and guests to meet in Derbyshire on the weekend of July 25th - 26th for the Annual Investiture of new members and the granting of promotions.

Vigil of Investiture

On Friday July 25th we gathered for prayer at All Saints Church in the village of Hassop.

All Saints Church, Hassop   (Grade I Listed)

In 1816-17 Francis Eyre built a Catholic chapel next to the entrance lodge of Hassop Hall in the severest Classical Revival style, its front resembling an Etruscan temple with an impressive pillared portico, & a barrel-vaulted interior with a coved coffered ceiling. The design, by Joseph Ireland, was based on that of Inigo Jones' St Paul's Covent Garden. It has an underground passage to the Hall.
The ornate altar and reredos is said to be of French origin. In the back gallery is a recently restored chamber organ by H C Lincoln dating from the 1820's.

Members and guests gathering before the Vigil.

The Vigil begins. Fr Simon Henry, the Chaplain General, leads us in prayer for those to be admitted and promoted.

Fr Mark Lawler, SChLJ, preached the homily.

Fr Charlton makes the promise of commitment on behalf of the postulants

Singing the Salve Regina before the statue of Our Blessed Lady

Some members and guests leaving the Church after the Vigil
Following the Vigil the Grand Prior hosted a Drinks Reception in the garden of Hassop Hall. 

Hassop Hall   (Grade II* Listed)

The recorded history of Hassop reaches back 900 years to the Domesday Book. Hetesope was the Manor and principal residence of the Foljambes who remained until the reign of Richard II(1377-1399). Hassop Hall is linked to only five families since the Domesday Book.

From 1498 Hassop was the home of the Eyre family. As Catholics they suffered a great deal throughout the reign of Elizabeth I, emerging steadfast. They were among those few noble Catholic families who did not switch sides as a temporary expedient. The Civil War in 1643 was another time of trial for the family, and Rowland Eyre turned his home into a Royalist garrison. It was the scene of several skirmishes and after the Parliamentary victory, the captured property was only redeemed at a cost of £21,000. Rowland's father had dismantled much of the old Hall and replaced it with the present one.

Grand Officers enjoying Kir Royales!

Fr Aldo Tapparo, SChLJ
After our Kir Royales the Grand Prior hosted dinner in the Hall.

The Grand Prior thanked everyone for their hard work for the Order throughout the year.

And so to bed.....

Saturday July 26th found us in the historic market town of Bakewell in the Derbyshire Dales, well known for the local confection Bakewell Pudding.  Our Investiture took place in Bakewell Parish Church.

Ceremony of Investiture

All Saints Church, Bakewell   (Grade I Listed)

The church was founded in 920, and the churchyard has two 9th-century Saxon crosses. During restoration work, in the 1840s, many carved fragments of Saxon stonework were found in and around the porch, as well as some ancient stone coffins. Beginning in 1839, the transepts and crossing were levelled and rebuilt, and a new tower and spire were added. At the same time, the beautifully carved medieval font was moved from its position near the door to a new baptistery in the south-west corner of the church.
The stained glass throughout the church dates from the late nineteenth and early centuries, and includes the famous Henry Holiday 'Lamb of God' window in the north aisle.
More recently, in 1954 the Chapel of St Michael and St George, with its altar by Sir Ninian Comper, was moved to the north transept. The present church was started in the 12th century in Norman style; however, only the west front and part of the nave survive from that time. The remainder of the church was built between 1220 and 1240. The spire was added in 1340 but, in 1840, was completely rebuilt as it had become dangerous.


Members and guests gathering at the Church. 

 Choral Mattins

The service of Choral Mattins was sung, according to the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, by the Octavius Chamber Choir, who are based in Blackburn, Lancashire.
The music was conducted by Mr David Scott-­Thomas, their Musical Director and the Organist was Mr Sam Hudson, the Organist and Director of Music at Blackburn Cathedral.

Ceremony of Investiture

At the end of Matins the Chancellor, Fr Mark Lawler, read out the Grand Master's Mandate for the Investiture.


Three new members were received into the noble Order this year. Confrère Andrew McDermott was invested as a Brother of the Order and the Reverend Father William Charlton was invested as a Chaplain.

Mr Andrew McDermott, BLJ

Rev. Fr. William Charlton, ChLJ


Four members were promoted this year. 

Consœurs Patricia Antcliff and Elizabeth Douglas were promoted to the rank of Dame. 

Dame Patricia Antcliffe, DLJ

Unfortunately, Consœur  Elizabeth Douglas took ill during the Vigil on Friday night and was unable to attend the  Investiture at which she was to be promoted to the rank of Dame. However, the Grand Prior promoted Elizabeth to the rank of Dame.

Thankfully, Dame Elizabeth in now fully recovered.

Dame Elizabeth Douglas, DLJ

Confrère William Douglas was raised to the rank of Knight. 

Chevalier William Douglas, KLJ

Order of Merit

In consideration of the works that they have done in the name of the Order of Saint Lazarus, and the support that they have given to the Grand Priory of Great Britain, two members were admitted into the Order of Merit.

The Chancellor of the Grand Priory, Fr Mark Lawler, SChLJ, was awarded the Medal of Merit. 

Rev. Fr. Mark Lawler, SChLJ, MMLJ

The Chaplain General of the Grand Priory, Fr Simon Henry, ECLJ, MMLJ,  was invested as a Grand Officer of Merit. 

Rev. Fr. Simon Henry, ECLJ, GOMLJ

The ceremony of Investiture closed with the intoning of the Suffragium and the Oratio Equitum: 

 God, you have chosen us to be your Knights under the protection of the Most Blessed Virgin and Saint Lazarus, grant us grace to above all fulfil our filial duty to you, to be generous in charity to our neighbour, and to remain invincible until death against the enemies of the Cross. Amen.

Then the National Anthem was sung, after which the Members of the Grand Priory processed out.

Gala Lunch

 After the Investiture members and guests repaired to the splendid Hassop Hall for a Gala Lunch.

The Grand Prior welcomed our new members, congratulated those who were promoted, and urged us all to continue the good work of the Order.

Atavis et Armis

Grand Priory of Great Britain