By Richard Shaw THE KNIGHTS of St Columba met last weekend to discuss plans for dealing with the lay order's rising costs.
The Board of Directors and the Provincial Grand Knights of St Columba (KSC) had their annual meeting last weekend at Morecambe in Lancashire, where they devised plans to deal with problems facing the order.
Membership has fallen to about 8,000. This has increased per capita costs and the meeting discussed plans to reduce them.
Br Tony Britten, Supreme Knight, outlined where the cuts would he made.
He said: —There will be reductions in the numbers attending the Supreme Council, which now stands at a couple of hundred.
"Also, because there is more ease of communication today, we don't need as many on the Board of Directors, so we will reduce the number from 20 to about 11 or 12,
Every organisation has to look at the careful husbanding of finances,"Br Tony said.
He added: "In terms of vocations, we have a number of new initiatives, including founding area membership groups, because different areas of the country face different pressures.
"We are not worried about vocations. We would love to be about 20-30,000, but we're not in a panic about it. All organisations have faced similar decreases in membership."
The meeting also discussed the Knight's National Action Project, which will raise money over the next two years for the Help the Hospice movement.
The KSC — a fraternal order of Catholic men — was founded in 1921 in Glasgow and is organised on a local, regional and national basis.
Br Tony said: "We are a group of Catholic men who are dedicated to spreading the Gospel in our places of work and to work with the hierarchy and the clergy.
"We consider ourselves one of the key members of the lay apostolate."