Immediately after the War, Anglicans and nonconformists united in their support of the League of Nations. Catholics did not have the same enthusiasm. By 1926, there were only eight Catholic churches listed in the UK as ‘corporate members,’ out of 1666. (1) However, in Lancaster, there may have been a mismatch between the Catholic clergy and their congregations, as no Catholic churches became corporate members. However, at least three of the Catholic clergy showed interest in the League. Father Thomas Murphy, priest at St. Joseph’s R. C. Church, Skerton, was elected to the Lancaster League of Nations Union Executive Committee at the 1921 and 1922 AGMs. He died in 1924, and the following AGM report stated: ‘they were sorry to lose one of their Vice-Presidents, the late Father Murphy, who took a real interest in the League.’
In 1924, the priest at St. Peter’s (now Lancaster Cathedral), Very Rev. Dean John Blundell, was elected a Lancaster LNU Vice-President, presumably in his absence, as he sent a letter to the meeting, ‘saying he had every sympathy with the League.’ In March 1926, the new Catholic Bishop of Lancaster, Bishop Pearson, sent his apologies for not attending Professor Gilbert Murray’s lecture, as he was in Walsall, wishing the meeting a success. However, there are no further references to Catholic clergy in the AGM reports after this.
(1) H. McCarthy, 2011. The British People and the League of Nations. Manchester: Manchester University Press, ch.3.
Lancaster Guardian, 19 Mar 1921, 22 Apr 1922, 21 Mar 1925 & 20 Mar 1926.