St. John’s Knights of St. Columba

Who are the Knights of St Columba ?

The Knights of Saint Columba is a Catholic fraternal service organisation and the largest of its kind in Britain. Founded in Glasgow in 1919, it is named in honour of Saint Columba, a Christian missionary from Ireland who helped to introduce Christianity to people in Northern Britain. We are dedicated to the principles of Charity, Unity and Fraternity and have more than 4,000 members in over 300 Councils across England, Scotland and Wales. Membership is limited to practising Catholic men aged 16 or older. We exist to support the mission and doctrine of the Catholic Church and at the same time to work for the "spiritual and material good of its members and their families". We are a founder member of the International Alliance of Catholic Knights. (I.A.C.K.) We follow the social teachings of the Catholic Church and work for the moral and social welfare of our communities and in particular to help the development of young people. Our members strive to achieve all these aims through charity, unity and fraternity.

The council 977 belongs to province 12 Southwark. Our council 977 was established in 2014 by Fr. Innocent Abonyi, MSP (Parish Priest of St. John's)  who invited the provincial officers to visit and explore this possibility. It was inaugurated by province the Supreme Knight, Charlie McCluskey and is directly under province 12 Southwark. The Grandknight of Southwark province 12, Bor Michael Akinrere and his team have patiently guided our council and we owe them huge gratitude. All its members have attained full membership of this wonderful fraternity. At its foundation, the spirit of the members were very high, but its growth and development in our parish has sadly remained very low ever since.

We want invite our adult catholic male parishioners of St. John's to join this group and take the great opportunity that it offers to serve God and his people. If you wish to join, please contact the parish office on 01474352415  or

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History of the Order of the Knights of St Columba

On 5th October 1919, Patrick Joseph O'Callaghan, an Irish migrant from Cork, gathered a meeting of 24 Catholic men at Central Hall, Bath Street, Glasgow and agreed to form a fraternal organisation - The Knights of St Columba.

In 1882, the United States' Knights of Columbus was founded by Fr. Michael J. McGivney. The founders, known as the Incorporators, modelled the Knights of St Columba on their example. The first initiation of members began on 11th November 1919, while the following year a concert was held on Saint Patrick's Day which strongly boosted the membership numbers of the organisation into the hundreds.

The Order is set at three levels: councils are local groups which are arranged into larger groups called provinces. The highest level is a Board of Directors led by the Supreme Knight. There is a Head Office located in Glasgow, Scotland, where the Order was founded. The highest constitutional meeting of the Knights of Saint Columba is the annual conference or Supreme Council and is the body that decides national policy.

The Supreme Knight is elected annually and can serve for a maximum of three years. Councils and Provinces are chaired by Grand Knights and Provincial Grand Knights respectively and these, too, are in office for a maximum of three years or an additional one year if approval is given by the Supreme Knight. The Order is noted for its charitable work and has raised money for projects such as assisting health in the developing world, earthquake relief as well as projects in Britain.

At local level, members belong to a Council, led by the Grand Knight meet on a monthly basis. The Councils in an area (often corresponding to a Catholic Diocese) come together to form a Province, under the Provincial Grand Knight. A minimum of two representatives from a Council (normally the Grand Knight and Immediate Past Grand Knight) attend the Provincial Council quarterly. Representatives of the Provinces meet at least annually at the Supreme Council which governs the Order. The Supreme Knight presides over the Supreme Council.

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