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Christ The King Parish, Cockfosters

The parish was founded in 1936 by Dom Constantine Bosschaerts OSB (1899- 1950), a Belgian Olivetan Benedictine monk who was a friend and associate of Archbishop Angelo Roncalli, later Pope John XXIII. Both men were involved in the establishing of The Vita et Pax Foundation, which embodied ideas of Christian unity, and both shared ideas about the renewal of the liturgy.

In 1941 Dom Bosschaerts set out his vision for a large new monastery at Cockfosters with a church to seat 1,000 ‘built behind the present one which has already attracted much attention on account of its unique design which is due to Fr Bosschaerts himself’. Our building would eventually become the parish hall, but would serve as a church pending the building of the permanent church. Fr Bosschaerts died in 1950 with his ambitious plans largely unrealised, but part of his vision (though not the large new church) was fulfilled by one of his confreres Dom Placid Meylink (1926-2003) who oversaw the building of the monastery, the development of the Benedictine Centre for Spirituality, a Christian Meditation Centre and in 1995 the new monastery building.

After 77 years of presence and dedicated service of the Benedictines of Monte Oliveto in Cockfosters, the monks decided to withdraw from the Parish and the last of the Olivetan monks Dom Bernard Akoeso OSB left in December 2013. Archbishop Vincent Nichols entrusted responsibility for the parish to the Chemin Neuf Community from 1st September 2014, when three brothers arrived.

On 12th February 2016 Cardinal Vincent Nichols along with Fr Laurent Fabre the General Superior of the Chemin Neuf Community signed the official canonical agreement between the Westminster diocese and the Chemin Neuf Community. On 25th June 2016 the Cardinal celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving for the 80th anniversary of the founding of the parish.

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