The Western Section of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre [KHS] celebrated its 10th Anniversary early this month. A thanksgiving Mass was celebrated by Bishop Declan at the Cathedral assisted by Fr David Mills KHS, and Parish Priest of St Gregory’s, Cheltenham.
The principal attendee was His Excellency Michael Byrne KC*HS, Lieutenant of England and Wales. He was accompanied by his predecessor Dr David Smith KGCHS, Lieutenant of Honour, and the Section President of the Southern Section of the Order, Liz McCombe DCHS. Also present was Jim Quinn KGCHS and Chairman of the Friends of the Holy Land.
Bishop Declan, is also Chair of the Holy Land Coordination committee of the Bishops of England and Wales.
Some 39 Knights and Dames from the Western and other Sections were in attendance.
The Western section of the KHS was, prior to its Formation, a Group under the Midlands Section of the Order, based on the Archdiocese of Birmingham, which encompasses the Clifton territory. For the last ten years the Western Section has comprised the Dioceses of Clifton and Plymouth – the latter previously part of the Southern Section and the Archdiocese of Southwark.
The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of the Jerusalem has its origins dating back to the first crusade and the establishment of the Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1099.
The Order was reconstituted in 1847 when the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem was restored, to provide a regular support of prayer and works for the Christian communities in the Holy Land.
Under its Papal constitution, the Equestrian Order for the Holy Sepulchre is a legal entity in Canon Law. As a religious (but not pontifical) Order of Knighthood, it is one of only two such Orders to be recognised by the Holy See (the other is the Sovereign Military Order of Malta).
The current, since 2011, Grand Master of the Order is Cardinal Edwin O’Brian. This office was established, with the brief Quam Romani Pontifices, 14 September 1949, that the Grand Master would be a Cardinal appointed by the Pope and the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem
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