Monday, December 14

The Church of Our Lady, Queen of Poland

Almost literally a stone's throw from the Cathedral is Lancaster's Polish Catholic Church. Yesterday the Bishop celebrated a Mass to mark the 60th anniversary of the Polish mission in the city, and the 25th anniversary of the church building. A significant number of Poles came to England around and after the Second World War, and there has recently been a new wave of immigration for economic reasons. Although Lancashire has always had 'local Catholics', some of whom can trace their families back prior to the Reformation, the Catholic Community has also benefited from those coming from Catholic communities elsewhere, most notably Ireland. More recently, a typical Sunday congregation at the Cathedral has become much more ethnically diverse on account of Lancaster University, which draws students from all over the world.

The Cathedral enjoys good relations with its Polish neighbours, and there are Catholics in the city who feel at home in both the churches. If you don't know the geography, you can see in this image just how close the two buildings are: the photograph is taken from the Cathedral tower, and the Polish Church is in the bottom right corner of the picture.