Knights of St Columba

A Fraternal Order of Catholic Men


Council Chamber, English Martyrs’ Hall, Dalton Terrace, York


The knights meet at the cathedral in Middlesbrough on the first Tuesday in the month at 7pm unless otherwise stated. Our meeting starts with Mass in the cathedral chapel.

New members are always welcome.

We have thirty members with the following officers presently elected. The chairman is known as Grand Knight.

Grand Knight

Please contact Tony Kirk on 07779457729 or email


Laurie Haley: Email

Who are we?

The Order of the Knights of St Columba is a fraternal organisation of Catholic men dedicated to the work of the lay apostolate, following the fundamental virtues of charity, unity and fraternity and open to Catholic men of 16 years and over.

We give our entire loyalty to the Holy See, the hierarchy and the clergy in all things appertaining to our Catholic faith and to support the mission of the Church.

During the First World War the American Order of the Knights of Columbus won wide recognition for their welfare work among the troops in France. Inspired by the same ideals, a number of Catholic men met in Glasgow on October 5 1919 and decided to form our own Order of the Knights of Columba. One week later the order received ecclesiastical approval, and the rest is history.

We have councils throughout our 32 provinces in Great Britain and the Channel Isles and are affiliated to similar orders around the World coming under the banner of IACK the International Alliance of Catholic Knights.

St Columba is our patron saint and Mary our patroness.

What do we do?

What do we not do would be a better question. Everything is possible if we have the will and commitment to work for Christ’s Kingdom. We have often in the past been accused of being involved in too many projects, but rest assured we have something for everybody, and we are always ready to welcome Catholic men with the skills and expertise requires for our work.

We are a Family organisation and we champion the Family and Family Values.

Our Action and Youth work over the years has and continues to fulfil the hopes and expectations of our founders over eighty six years ago, and has the blessing of the Hierarchy and Clergy. There is still much more to do if we are to address the evils in our society.

“A new state of affairs today both in the Church and in social, economic, political and cultural life, calls for a particular urgency for the action of the Lay Faithful, if lack of commitment is always unacceptable, the present time renders it even more so, It is not permissible for anyone to remain idle,” (CFL section 3)

The seven Corporal Works of Mercy are:

  1. To feed the hungry.
  2. To give drink to the thirsty.
  3. To clothe the naked.
  4. To harbour the harbourless.
  5. To visit the sick.
  6. To visit then imprisoned.
  7. To bury the dead.

A Piece of History

Early in our history the Order was responsible for the introduction of an Act of Parliament and won prestige for the Knights of St. Columba throughout the Catholic world. In 1924 during the annual Corpus Christi procession on June 24 at the shrine of Our Lady at Carfin some local people demanded that it should be banned because it was a breach of the Penal Laws. In the circumstances, the police had no option and the procession was prohibited. Father Thomas Taylor, parish priest of Carfin asked the Knights to take up the matter and have the procession restored.

The Grand Knight of Ormskirk, Liverpool Brother Nicholas Blundell, who was also a Member of Parliament and a wealthy landowner with extensive possessions in Lancashire, was outraged on hearing what had happened at Carfin. He brought the matter to the attention of the House of Commons and won considerable support. A bill was prepared which proposed to abolish many of the obnoxious clauses of the Penal Laws. The bill was the subject of a lengthy debate and passed on its third reading. Hansard has a final comment, which proves what a sweeping victory the sponsors of the bill achieved. The bill received the Royal Assent on December 15 and thus the Roman Catholic Relief Act 1926 became the law of the land. Brother Blundell received many congratulations for what the Knights had achieved through their campaign against these ancient and obsolete laws, and thanks to their actions, pilgrimages and processions at Carfin continue to this day.


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