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The first Spiritan to step foot in England was Fr. Jacques Bertout, from France. A refugee from the persecution of the Church during the French Revolution, he arrived on 19th September, 1792 and immediately began missionary work here until he was able to return to France in 1802.
The permanent establishment of the Congregation in England was in 1904 in the Diocese of Clifton when a large property called Prior Park was rented.
Fr. John Rimmer, from Widnes, was the first British Spiritan. He joined the Congregation in France in 1894 and was appointed Superior at Castlehead, and gradually under his leadership, the school flourished and vocations boomed.
In 1939, the Spiritans bought the Upton Hall in Nottinghamshire to be our Senior Seminary, but it was requisitioned at once by the government during the 2nd World War. It was returned to us in 1945 and for many years served as our House of Philosophy and Theology.
The Province has enjoyed great missionary successes and expansion in Britain and overseas, and has maintained an international and missionary flavour to its works.