Nearly an Abbey

In 1793, 2 English Benedictine communities, St Lawrence of Dieulouard & St Gregory of Douai, were expelled from France

They settled in England together temporarily at Acton Burnell, Shropshire. President Cowley decided that the St Lawrence community, under Prior Marsh, should move to Brindle where Father Hadley, a Gregorian, had built not only the Church but also a large house.

Father Hadley, who by this time had been at Brindle for almost 30 years and was getting on in years, was not told about this, and did not take kindly to Prior Marsh and his community turning up unannounced expecting to occupy the house.

It must have been an interesting meeting, Prior Marsh was many years younger than Father Hadley and very determined and only backed down on the understanding that the president’s council would meet again to insist the order be carried.

The next meeting must have been even better. When Prior Marsh arrived with Father Bede Burgess on the appointed day to take over the house, they found the premises closed and the congregation gathered in the garden “in an unfriendly mood”!

Prior Marsh admitted defeat and left. Lancashire hospitality – in reverse. As can be seen, a priest from Brindle put matters right some 10 years later.