Last Sunday, the Feast of Christ the King, I visited St Walburge's Church in Preston for the 10.30am Mass. This was one month after the Institute of Christ the King took charge of the church, and I was interested to see how they were getting on. There were over 50 in the congregation, which, in most churches would be a reasonable congregation, but in the vast space of St Walberge's looked sparce. However, there seemed great enthusiasm amongst those who were there, and there is the expectation that the congregation will grow as the Mass becomes better known. It seems that the local parishes are reluctant to include information about thr Institute in their bulletins.
The Mass was beautifully sung by Canon Altieri and well worth travelling nearly 100 miles to attend. The only weakness was with the choir. Deacon Tanner, currently the only English seminarian with the Institute, was playing the organ and trying to sing at the same time. Deacon Tanner was on loan from New Brighton where he is serving his diaconal year, so cannot be the reguylar organist. A choir of sorts was assembled, but there was not much volume coming from them, and a church of that size needs powerful singers. The good news is that, after the Mass, two members of the congregation offered their services as singers, but some really good singers are needed as well as a regular organist.