It was a time for celebrations when a caring Catholic group welcomed its new president and also marked two half century anniversaries!
For new president of Longridge Catenians Circle Ted Donnelly, his installation came the day after he concluded a Lourdes-Paris 572-mile bike ride helping to raise £4,000-plus for a special charity.
Ted set-off on the gruelling ride on his 74th birthday arriving at Lourdes on Good Friday.
Of his training he said: “Training over the Winter months has been a real test of endurance, but every wet and windy mile will have been worth it.”
The ceremony at The New Drop Inn, in Green Moor Lanen, Knowle Green also saw couple Gerard and Angela Waddingham celebrate their 50 years of membership, and Philip Jones - son of one of the founders of Longridge Circle businessman Keith Jones - his 50th birthday.
The new president was accompanied by his wife Janis and was applauded for completing the bike ride with his daughter Joanna, adding to funds for the charity HCPT - the Hosanna Home and Children’s Prilgrimage Trust - a United Kingdom-based charity which travels with disabled and disadvantaged children and adults on pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in France.
Circle member Joe Carroll says: “Through local fundraising events, we raise over £300,000 each year for a host of good causes at home and overseas.
“We have lots of fun while doing this. as would anyone who would join us.
“We are basically an association of Catholic laymen, committed to our faith, our families, each other and to those in need.
He adds: “Our primary purpose is to establish a network of friends, which enhances family life, strengthens faith and sustains us in difficult times.
“We support each other, the Catholic Church, young people and those in need.
“Our friendships are developed through meeting together locally once a month, and enjoying a varied programme of social events with our families and the widows of members.”
The Catenian National Golf Society and the Caravan and Camping Fellowship cater for anyone with those special interests.
Mr Carroll added that the main charity fund was the Bursary Fund which, for more than 25 years, had supported young Catholics aged between 16 and 24 who volunteer to help others.
“Each year, cash grants of more than £100,000 are awarded to help defray costs incurred by them serving on projects right across the world, and as helpers on HCPT and on pilgrimages to Lourdes.”
The Catenians were founded in Manchester in 1908 by the then Bishop of Salford Louis Casartelli.
They were originally known as “The Chums Benevolent Association” and its original and essential characteristics were typical of many male societies established in the period before the First World War.
Bishop Casartelli was one of a number of Bishops who were anxious to see Catholic communities break the bonds of restricted education, low social status, and limited political power and influence. They acknowledged the Catenians, were a force for good and a vehicle for action.
The name Catenians derives from Catena, the Latin word for Chain. Each member is seen as a link upon which the strength of the whole chain depends.
Supporting young Catholics is one of the associations declared aims. The Longridge Circle is encouraged to work with the local Catholic schools on various projects.
The Trustees look for evidence that the project will have a clear benefit to the people where the applicant will work, conform to Catholic principles and help develop the applicant’s spiritual and personal development.
The local group - or Circle - meets monthly at The New Drop Inn for a short meeting followed by a meal when they enjoy each other’s company, good food and a drink or two.
If anyone locally is interested in joining this Association, find out more at www.thecatenians.com/catenian-circles/united-kingdom/10/longridge.