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England to get fourth oratory

(CNS photo/Junno Arocho Esteves)

Pope Francis has signed a decree formally establishing the Manchester Oratory

Less than a month after the canonisation of St John Henry Newman, England is to get its fourth oratory.

Pope Francis signed a decree on November 1, the Solemnity of All Saints, formally erecting the Manchester Oratory at St Chad’s parish in the Diocese of Salford.

The Oratorian community, which has been in formation in Manchester since 1992, will also oversee a prison and a hospital chaplaincy, as well as a Catholic primary school.

The members of the Manchester Oratory are Fr Raymond Matus, Father Christopher Edward Hilton, Fr Richard Andrew Bailey, and the Brothers Gerard Connett and Fabian Trevithick.

The Oratorians were founded by St Philip Neri in Rome during the Counter-Reformation. They are a community of priests, and sometimes also lay brothers, who take no specific vows but live together under the bond of charity.

St John Henry Newman brought the Oratory to England, founding the Birmingham and London Oratories. A third oratory in Oxford was established in the early 1990s.

There are also currently communities-in-formation in Bournemouth, Cardiff and York.