Knights of St. Columba Council 219
Who are we? We are a lay order of Catholic men, founded in 1919, and looking forward to celebrating our centenary in three years’ time.
We are organised into councils, and a number of councils make a province, so we in Tooting are Council 219, within Province 12, Southwark, which comprises Kent and a portion of South London.
As to what we do,we serve and support Church and Community in a spirit of charity, unity and fraternity. We have been Involved in aiding major international causes such as Wells for Water which helped areas of the developing world that are critically short of water; Aid to the Church in Need, which provides invaluable assistance to those places where the very survival of the Catholic church is sometimes precarious; and a drive to provide spectacles for the visually-impaired in parts of the developing world. We also get involved in more local causes, organising events such as car-boot sales, coffee mornings, dances and quiz nights to raise awareness of, and funds for, these causes. We have a ceremonial and ritual dimension, providing ushers, stewards and other assistance for key church occasions, and guards of honour for visiting bishops. Being Southwark-based, for us this includes regular attendance at St George’s Cathedral and at Aylesford Priory in Kent, the latter a marvellous place for pilgrimage, retreat, or just getting away from the hustle and bustle of London.
The Knights do not function in isolation. Their wives and families have an important and much-valued role in supporting their various endeavours.
Key to the Knights is their spiritual dimension, what the Second Vatican Council referred to as “The Universal Call to Holiness”, being part of the lay apostolate. We pride ourselves on our complete loyalty to the bishops and clergy. With the current shortage of vocations, much more shall have to be done by the laity, and here the Knights are to the forefront.
Since our humble beginnings in Glasgow in 1919, the order of the Knights of St Columba has spread throughout Britain. Today we have a membership of 4,500, and our spirit is alive and active.We welcome new members and are open to every practising Catholic male of sixteen years or over.
We are aware that many of you are already involved in the parish, as for example, ministers of the Eucharist, or ministers of the Word, or choir members. You can continue in that invaluable work under the banner of the order. It all goes towards your role as a Knight.