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News Archive - 2011

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News in year:
2011

Ian Scott, 57th Grand Prior of England, makes history

Clerkenwell, London, 13 October 2011

The 57th Grand Prior of England, Ian Scott of Ardross
Photograph © by Julian Andrews

Ian Scott of Ardross has been installed as 57th Grand Prior of England of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Malta, in a historic and moving ceremony held at St.John’s Church, Clerkenwell, officiated by Mons. Antony Conlon, Conventual Chaplain ad honorem of the Grand Priory. Ian Scott is the second Scottish Grand Prior since the Order was established at Clerkenwell in 1101.

The new Grand Prior is a well known former advertising executive and historian with a specialist interest in the convergence of Russian and European architectural and art history. He advises the Order of Malta on the restoration of important properties, such as the church at the historic villa on Rome's Aventine Hill, the only church designed by Piranesi. He is multilingual.

Ian Scott has had a longstanding interest in the hospitaller works of the Order of Malta and has visited projects in many countries. He is also an authority on the history of the Hospitaller knights and has guided the Grand Master and other senior members of the Order on visits to a number of the buildings associated with it, notably the great fortress of Krak des Chevaliers in Syria.

Background
The Order of St. John of Jerusalem, commonly known as the Order of Malta, has its origins in a hospice for pilgrims established in Jerusalem before the first crusade in 1099. It is therefore the oldest order of chivalry in the world and one of the oldest religious orders, receiving its first Papal Bull in 1113.

Originally all the members were professed religious who took the usual monastic vows of celibacy, of obedience and poverty. These, known as the knights of Justice, remain the essential core of the Order. In addition to their number there are knights who take a special Vow of Obedience and a numerous class of ordinary members. All are members of a religious order.

As the Order grew, it was established in different countries where the principal house was known as the Grand Priory. The Grand Priory of England was established before 1140 at Clerkenwell and its activity soon spread to Scotland, where it was based at Torphichen. The Grand Priory was suppressed by Henry VIII and several knights were executed by him. There was a brief revival under Queen Mary. In Scotland the Order ceased to exist after 1560 the date of the Reformation in that country.

The Grand Priory was revived in 1993, the first Grand Prior was Fra’ Matthew Festing, who is now Grand Master of the Order. The Grand Priory comprises 7 knights of Justice and 20 knights in Obedience.

Following the death of Fra’ Fredrik Crichton-Stuart earlier this year, Ian Scott of Ardross was elected 57th Grand Prior. He comes of a distinguished Scottish family, the Dishingtons of Ardross, who were powerful feudal barons who sat in the Parliament of Scotland.

The Orders of St John in Britain
The Order of Malta in Britain has long enjoyed close and friendly relations with the Order of St. John which obtained a Royal Charter in 1885. Both Orders have the same hospitaller and charitable objectives. They run the Orders of St John Care Trust, the second largest not for profit care provider in the UK, currently operating over 70 homes and five extra care schemes in four counties (Lincolnshire – 16; Wiltshire – 20; Oxfordshire - 17 and Gloucestershire – 19). The Trust is responsible for the care of over 3,500 residents and employs c. 3,500 staff. The varied range of care services includes residential, nursing and dementia care, and  intermediate, respite and day care (www.osjct.co.uk).

It is thanks to the kindness of the Order of St. John that the installation of the new Grand Prior, on 13 October, took place in the crypt of the church of St. John in Clerkenwell, now its property, but formerly that of the medieval knights.

The Order of Malta today
The aims of the Order of Malta are to live by Christian example and to help the poor and the sick, regardless of religion or race. The worldwide Order of Malta has its headquarters in Rome. The Order currently has well over 100,000 medical personnel, members and volunteers working to relieve poverty and sickness, and runs numerous hospitals, leper colonies, specialist clinics and old people’s homes, as well as providing emergency aid to disaster areas throughout the world. 

For more information: www.orderofmalta.int; www.orderofmalta.org.uk

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WORLD YOUTH DAY, Madrid, August 2011

Order of Malta Volunteers (OMV) were there. Anna Webb reports:

I didn’t know what to expect from WYD. I didn’t expect the heat. I didn’t expect the crowds. I didn’t expect a nice hotel. I didn’t expect two million young Catholics from all over the world joyfully praising God and celebrating the universality of our Church. As we walked down the streets, groups of youth were identifiable by their team ‘uniforms’ and the national flags they proudly carried (although after the fortnight this could be a dubious method of identification as everyone had swapped flags with other nations for t-shirts or for anything they could!).

The climax of the event was the overnight vigil with the Pope. As we arrived, people were chasing after fire engines, desperate for the water they would spray on us to cool us down. There was no escape from the heat on the airfield, but the spirit wasn’t dampened. As we began the vigil however, clouds gathered ominously above and soon we were being soaked. Having arrived in blazing sunshine, few of us were prepared for the rain. As the Pope began his address, the wind picked up and the storm truly set in. In front of us was the Pope and behind us the most incredible lightning against a thick grey sky - we didn’t know where to look! Everyone on stage tried to usher the Pope inside to safety but he refused to leave, wanting instead to be united with us as we sang our way through the storm. As the skies cleared, the Blessed Sacrament was brought out and a silence fell across the airfield as we knelt in adoration.

Anna Webb
OMV

The Order of Malta Volunteers (OMV) are a group of volunteers aged 17 to 29. Allied to the Order of Malta, they run holidays and religious pilgrimages for sick or disabled adults and children. The OMV crucially gives young people the opportunity to ease the pain and hurt of people living with illness or those suffering from social exclusion. For more information: www.omv.org.uk

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DRIEST YEAR IN HORN OF AFRICA SINCE 1995

Food crisis widens: the Order of Malta distributing emergency food in Kenya

9 August 2011

Hunger in the Horn of Africa, Marsabit, Kenya, August 2011 (Picture: Reuters)

The food crisis at the Horn of Africa continues to affect 12.4 million people in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. Malnutrition and mortality rates are extremely high in many regions. The latest report of the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warns: ‘Humanitarian organisations are struggling to cope with the influx of Somali refugees in Ethiopia and Kenya. Malnutrition and mortality rates are alarmingly high in many parts of the region.’

International aid is coming in from the UN World Food Programme, from the United States, France, United Kingdom. The Order of Malta is on the ground in north eastern Kenya, providing food aid and supporting local populations. Ute Kirch, emergency relief coordinator for the Order of Malta’s  international relief service, explains: “People here live traditionally on livestock, but pastures have driedup, the cattle are dying, and there’s no more food – they have used up all their reserves.”

The need is great
Last week, the Order of Malta started its first phase distribution of food items – tonnes of rice, beans and oil - in four villages in the Marsabit district of Kenya, near the border with Ethiopia – to a population of 17,000. A fifth village is scheduled for distribution in the coming week.

  • In Segel, 30 km from Marsabit, 49 herder families have received food aid. The families have come from a different region, as there was no more food for the cattle where they lived.
  • In Laisamis - between Marsabit and Isiolo - food has been distributed to almost 3,000 people. At greatest risk: undernourished children, pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, the elderly, the sick, and those with special needs. They have received an additional protein- and vitamin-enriched supplement. As the registration process in the local health centre continues, the number of residents receiving aid will increase.
  • In Sakardala, 12 km from Laisamis, with 2,000 inhabitants, food items have been distributed to critical groups - elderly residents and their families - with more target groups to be added in the coming days.
  • In Kargi, about 75 km from Marsabit, the Order’s medical teams are in the process of registering those needing aid. It is already evident that the need is great.

The Order of Malta is working towards a sustainable approach in the region.

Thanks to the support of the humanitarian diplomatic network of the Order of Malta and its Associations around the world, the first response of the Order’s international relief services to the emergency has been funded.

How to help
Every donation, however modest, is most gratefully received. It will mean the Order of Malta can continue to give support to those who are suffering, to prevent them dying of starvation.

You can donate online through our website (www.justgiving.com/fas), or by sending a cheque made payable to BASMOM Foreign Aid Service. UK taxpayers may wish to complete a Gift Aid form.

The Order of Malta’s international emergency relief organisation, Malteser International, has been working in Kenya for the past ten years, including providing assistance in Marsabit in the 2009 crisis, where it was able to save numerous lives.

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Italian sunshine, the seaside, 23 nations – and 20 Ferraris!

The Italian Association of the Order hosts the 28th Order International Summer Holiday Camp for young handicapped

1 August 2011

Team GB in Venice

Catherine Orchard, OMV member, reports:

Last week, the Order of Malta Volunteers (OMV) sent ‘Team GB’ to the 28th Order of Malta International Holiday Camp which this year was hosted by the Italian Association at Lignano Sabbiadoro, Udine. This year’s team included 8 guests, 13 helpers and Fr John, our Chaplain; it was a mixture of Camp veterans and those coming to the camp for the first time. Everyone had a great week, and many international connections were established as 23 countries were represented – including a team from Australia!

The Christopher's Cup croquet competition

The theme of this year’s Camp was “You are the light of the world”, which was celebrated with a specially written song by the son of one of the Camp’s founders and popstar, Nicolò Cavalchini.

The Camp accommodation was 200 metres from a wheelchair accessible beach, so we enjoyed soaking up the Italian sunshine and swimming in the sea after a busy day of activities. Excursions included horse riding, a parrot park and the awesome surprise of about 20 Ferraris appearing ready to go for ‘a spin’ around the camp. There were also visits to Padova for a beautiful Mass at the Basilica of St Anthony, as well as to Venice, by boat, to enjoy the sights and atmosphere of St Mark’s Square.

The fun was all recorded in the videos, which can be found in the news section at: http://www.maltacamp2011.it.

One of our guests in a Ferrari!

Excitement is already building for next year’s Camp, which will be in Hungary from 4th – 11th August 2012 – at the same time as the Olympics!

This is the 28th International Summer Camp organised by the Order for young handicapped. Order members and young volunteers take turns each year to plan and host it, arrange sponsorship and funding, and run the week.

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Election of the 57th Grand Prior of England

London, 24 July 2011

On Saturday, 23rd July, Ian Scott of Ardross was elected 57th Grand Prior of England of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Malta at a Chapter of the Grand Priory held at the Church of St Birinus in Dorchester-on-Thames. The new Grand Prior succeeds Fra’ Fredrik Crichton-Stuart who died in June this year. Ian Scott of Ardross is the second Scottish Grand Prior since the Order was established at Clerkenwell in 1101.

The Grand Priory of England was suppressed in the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st and only re-established in this country in 1993. The aims of the Order are to live by Christian example and to help the poor and the sick, regardless of religion or race.

The worldwide Order of Malta has its headquarters in Rome and its leader is the Prince and Grand Master, Fra’ Matthew Festing OBE, who hails from Northumberland. The Order currently has well over 100,000 medical personnel, members and volunteers working to relieve poverty and sickness and runs numerous hospitals, leper colonies, specialist clinics and old people’s homes, as well as providing emergency aid to disaster areas throughout the world.

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Norwegian tragedy

Rome, 27/07/2011

The Sovereign Order of Malta notes with deepest sadness the tragic loss of life in Oslo and Utoya and condemns these senseless violent acts.

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H.E. Fra’ Fredrik Crichton-Stuart, Grand Prior of England, 1940 – 2011

Edinburgh, 14 June 2011

Fra' Fredrik Crichton-Stuart

Fra' Fredrik Crichton-Stuart, Grand Prior of England, died at his home in Edinburgh early today after a long illness. Fra' Fredrik joined the Order of Malta in 1962, and in 1993 on the restoration of the Grand Priory of England, he was appointed Chancellor, becoming Grand Prior in 2008. For many years he was also Delegate of Scotland and the Northern Marches for the Order, and was a tireless worker for the sick and the needy, assisting in the weekends for the handicapped held regularly at Kielder as well as being an effective and long standing Chairman of Dial-A-Journey in mid Scotland, an organisation he served devotedly up until his death.

Freddy, as he was always known, was born in 1940, the eldest son of Lord Rhidian Crichton-Stuart. He was educated at Ampleforth and brought up in Scotland and North Africa where his father had business interests. His long career included spells in industry and farming and he was a Chartered Accountant with his own practice until his retirement. He was an officer in the Territorial Army, and a trustee and later Chairman of Una Voce Scotland, and he sat on the boards of a number of charities in Scotland.

Fra’ Freddy Crichton-Stuart was a man of prayer whose love of and commitment to the Order of Malta, its traditions and works, was exemplary and inspirational.

The condolences of the many members of the Grand Priory of England and the British Association of the Order of Malta are extended to his family and his many friends, both within and outside the Order. Requiescat in pace.

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St John’s Hospice celebrates its new look

Moving ceremony, led by the Archbishop of Westminster, marks the event

London, 25 May 2011

Lord Guthrie shows Archbishop Nichols around the new Hospice

 Friends, staff and volunteers at St John’s Hospice joined the Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, and the Chairman of the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth, Lord Guthrie, at a Mass and blessing of the new Hospice earlier this week. In his homily, Archbishop Nichols spoke of the consolation to be found in the Psalms and reminded that ‘Our Christian faith is not a superficial version of optimism,’ he said. ‘It takes the messy reality of life seriously. But in every darkness there is a light that shines.’

The Annunciation mosaic, by Arthur Fleischmann

The Hospice cares for around 2,000 people every year who are suffering terminal illnesses. The care model is underpinned by respect for every patient’s dignity and their physical, emotional and spiritual needs. It is based at the Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth, London NW8.

If you would like to make a donation, please contact the fundraising department:  T 020 7806 4011 or E fundraising@hje.org.uk

 

 

 

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Prime Minister David Cameron opens new Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) community care facility in Chipping Norton

Chipping Norton, 13 May 11

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, and Chairman Peter Loyd

Trust Chairman Peter Loyd welcomed Prime Minister David Cameron to the Chipping Norton War Memorial Community Hospital and Henry Cornish Care Centre on the occasion of its official opening. On a tour of the new premises the Prime Minister had the opportunity to meet many residents and staff. After a short service by the Home’s two chaplains, the Chairman officially welcomed the honoured guest. ‘It is great to share this exciting project with you,’ the Prime Minister said. ‘It is one whose development in my constituency I have followed with passion.’

The Community Hospital provides an outpatient unit offering a range of services in the region, and includes a maternity unit complete with two birthing pools. Alongside the hospital, the Care Centre offers a home for 50 older adults. All its light and spacious rooms are for single occupancy, have ensuite facilities, and a selection of power sources, including for internet connections. The home also offers its residents a range of activities, social outings, pastimes and hobbies.

The OSJCT is a joint project of the Order of Malta and the Venerable Order of St John. The Trust focuses on giving older people care, both material and spiritual, and in ensuring that they enjoy life in an atmosphere of warmth, harmony and understanding.

For more information: www.osjct.co.uk; www.orderofmalta.org

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The Order’s 53rd annual international pilgrimage to Lourdes

British Association members, volunteers and malades join 7,000 pilgrims from 35 countries

Lourdes, 1 May 2011

One of the many pilgrims who come faithfully, year after year

Led by Hospitaller Tim Orchard, the British Association of the Order of Malta brought 60 malades and 250 helpers, priests and nurses, a solid lineup of old stagers and first timers, to the 53rd international pilgrimage of the Order. They joined the thousands of pilgrims who had flocked from all over the world – from many European countries, and from as far away as Chile, the Philippines, Senegal, Australia, the United States – to take part. The total was almost 7,000, representing 35 countries, and included 1,400 malades and 170 chaplains of the Order.

In splendid spring weather, Grand Master Fra’ Matthew Festing led the joyous event, accompanied by members of the Sovereign Council. Among this year’s participants was the President of the Republic of Malta, George Abela, who took part in the principal religious ceremonies together with the Grand Master. The Sunday Pontifical Mass was celebrated by the Prelate of the Order, Archbishop Angelo Acerbi and the Procession of the Eucharist was presided over by the Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan.

The Order’s pilgrims were also able to share in the beatification of His Holiness Pope John Paul II, with a prayer vigil on Saturday evening and direct transmission of the ceremony of the beatification from St Peter’s Square in Rome on Sunday.

The Grand Master met very many of the malades, and presented each first timer – malade, Order member, volunteer – with the Order of Malta’s pilgrimage medal.

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Order of Malta activities in Europe emphasise the homeless, the elderly, and minorities

European Hospitallers of the Order meet in Cambridge, UK

Cambridge, 3 April 2011

Grand Hospitaller Albrecht von Boeselager with the Hospitaller of the British Association Tim Orchard (left) and the Vice Hospitaller Nicolas Reuttner (right)

The European Hospitallers of the Order of Malta, who are responsible for all the charitable activities of their Assocations, met at the weekend in Cambridge for their annual conference to review the Order’s charitable works across Europe. 

Led by the Grand Hospitaller, Albrecht von Boeslager, and hosted by the Hospitaller of the British Association, Tim Orchard, the group reported on their works over the past year and discussed next steps.

Highlights included overviews of current activities in Romania, a country with the second lowest poverty rate in Europe, and in Hungary -  in both countries, ongoing care and education of the Roma population is a priority. A project in Switzerland collected and shipped 18,000 tons of goods to the poorest European countries and to Africa, the Middle East and as far away as Timor Leste. In Britain, the Orders of St John Care Trust, which runs 73 homes in four counties with a turnover of £100 million, has recently implemented an innovative  scheme to create 1950s ‘reminiscence suites’ for dementia sufferers, which is proving very effective. Soup kitchens in Madrid and St.Petersburg, two barges on the Seine in Paris for the homeless, and two hospices for the homeless in Belgium, with another opening shortly, and medical care for the refugees arriving in their thousands on the Italian island of  Lampedusa were among other projects reported on.

Members from the Order’s Associations in America also attended and described some of their many activities country wide, amongst which is a prison ministry project , an ongoing reconstruction project in New Orleans, where the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is still evident, as well as programmes for the handicapped and homes for young single mothers. Like the European Associations, all three Associations in the United States carry out visiting services for the sick and elderly housebound.

In closing the meeting, the Grand Hospitaller emphasised that ‘These activities demonstrate once again that the Order of Malta is on the ground for the long term.’

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Changes at the top for Malteser International, the Order of Malta’s worldwide relief service

Cambridge, 1 April 2011

Newly elected Malteser International President, Johannes Heereman (left) with Nicolas de Cock

After 14 years at the helm of Malteser International, President Nicolas de Cock de Rameyan has stepped down. ‘These have been formative years for the organisation and I am proud to look back on the progress we have made in assisting so many people in developing countries,’ he said. ‘We are combating extremes of poverty, providing basic health care for local populations, and helping them build a future for themselves and their families with health education and microfinance programmes,’ he said. ‘Important priorities are clean drinking water, vaccination programmes, first aid training.’

The newly elected President is Johannes Heereman, who brings to the post his extensive experience in developing and running the German Malteser Hilfsdienst operation for over 25 years. He plans to focus on building up decentralised administrative structures in Asia and the Americas.

With a budget of over 29 million Euros, Malteser International has over 100 projects in 22 countries. Current work in disaster relief: Haiti, Pakistan and Japan. In Africa, Malteser International’s activities focused on rehabilitation and development.

For more information: www.malteser-international.org

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Japan: Earthquake/Tsunami - Malteser International gives aid and plans second-phase support

Cologne, 14 March 2011

Following the earthquake and tsunami which ravaged Japan on March 11, Malteser International, the relief service of the Order of Malta for worldwide humanitarian aid, is in close contact with its partners in the country – the Jesuits, the Franciscans and Tokyo’s Catholic University. Via local partners – like catholic parishes - Malteser International will provide support. Secretary General Ingo Radtke outlines plans: “We will provide second-phase assistance - for example, in the early recovery phase and in the rehabilitation of affected communities.”

Malteser International has provided €25,000 from its emergency relief fund for emergency aid in Japan, adding to the €50,000 already made available by Caritas International.

The tsunami warning for the whole Pacific region also tested other projects of the Order. Measures which have been installed in Malteser International’s project region in West Papua since July 2010 operated perfectly: all the inhabitants in the 11 villages in the project region in Manokwari/West-Papua were evacuated in good time and have now returned safely to their villages.

Donations: the British Association of the Order will pass all donations on to the Malteser International work in Japan. Cheques made payable to BASMOM FAS should be sent to:  BASMOM FAS, BASMOM Secretariat, 58 Grove End Road, London NW8 9NE or donate online at  www.justgiving.com/FAS.

Malteser International is the worldwide relief agency of the Sovereign Order of Malta for humanitarian aid. The organisation provides aid in about 200 projects in more than 20 countries without distinction of religion, race or political persuasion. Christian values and the humanitarian principles of impartiality and independence are the foundation of its work. For more information: www.malteser-international.org.

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The Zephyr debates: the third in a series of lectures to explore topical and controversial ethical issues

Organised by the British Association of the Order of Malta

The third debate in this series examined  the very topical issue ‘Is There Anything Wrong with Altering the Genes of Future Generations?’ presented by Dr David Albert Jones, Director of the Anscombe Centre for Bioethics in Oxford (formerly the Linacre Centre) in March. 

Proceeds for the series went to The Hospice at the Hospital of the St John and St Elizabeth.  The Hospice cares for around 2,000 people every year who are suffering terminal illnesses. The care model is underpinned by respect for every patient’s dignity and their physical, emotional and spiritual needs. It is based at the Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth, London NW8.

If you would like to make a donation, please contact the fundraising department:  T 020 7806 4011 or E fundraising@hje.org.uk

For the full text of the third Zephyr debate click here.

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The Zephyr debates: a series of lectures to explore topical and controversial ethical issues

Organised by the British Association of the Order of Malta

Coming up:  the very topical issue ‘Is There Anything Wrong with Altering the Genes of Future Generations?’ will be examined by Dr David Albert Jones, Director of the Anscombe Centre for Bioethics in Oxford (formerly the Linacre Centre), in the third debate in this well-attended series.

When: Tuesday 22nd March, drinks from 6.30pm, debate starts 7.00pm.
Where: The Institute of Physics, 76 Portland Place, London W1B 1NT.
Tickets: £30.00 via BASMOM Secretariat: t: 020 786 1414 /
e: info@orderofmalta.org.uk / at the door.

Proceeds to The Hospice at the Hospital of the St John and St Elizabeth, Grove End Road, London NW8 9NH.

For the full text of the second Zephyr debate ‘With the reduction in State aid, is it time for the good Samaritan to fill the gap?’ click here.

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Haiti a year on

Cologne, 12 January 2011

Click here to view video

On 12 January 2010, Haiti was struck by a 60-second earthquake. Those few seconds cost thousands of lives, destroyed livelihoods, buildings, streets and dreams, and took away the land and the hopes of many. A year on from the disaster, the consequences are still clear for all to see. Yet, considering the scale of the situation, there is real evidence of progress in the reconstruction and rehabilitation work.

Athough the latest cholera epidemic has redirected public attention towards Haiti, 12 months after the catastrophe the country continues to slip further into oblivion. However, Malteser International, the Order of Malta’s international relief service, has remained in the country to help the people as they strive for a better future.

At a specially convened conference early last year to discuss aid for Haiti, Albrecht von Boeselager, the Grand Hospitaller, stated: ‘The Order of Malta is there for the long term.’

Click on the picture above to see the recent work in Haiti -  video (4:15 minutes). It shows Malteser International’s cholera prevention work in the camps in Port-au-Prince, and basic health care in the centre in Canapé Vert.

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Grand Master addresses the Order's Diplomatic Corps

Rome, 11 January 2011

The Grand Master of the Order of Malta, Fra’ Matthew Festing, received at the Magistral Villa on the Aventine the Ambassadors of the 104 countries accredited to the Order for the audience of the beginning of the new Year. Click here for the full text of his keynote speech.

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