The Carmelite Family in Britain will be holding a special celebration in York Minster at 11.30am on 16 May. The day commemorates the 550th anniversary of the letter Cum Nulla, sent to the order on 16 May 1452, by Pope Nicholas V , which enabled the founding of Carmelite communities of women religious and gave official recognition to lay-people as members of the Order. The service - which also takes place on the feast of Simon Stock a thirteenth century English Carmelite saint - is expected to attract over a thousand people from across Britain. The day marks the long presence Carmelites have had in this country, as well as the important role they have played in the City of York. Very Rev Fr Antony Lester, O.Carm., Prior Provincial of the Carmelite Friars in Britain will preside and the preacher will be Most Rev Fr Joseph Chalmers, O.Carm., the Order's Prior General who is coming from Rome for the event. Representatives of several other Christian denominations will be attending, as well as the Lord Mayor and Sheriff of York. Many members from the different sections of the Carmelite Family in Britain: Carmelite friars, the Corpus Christi Carmelite sisters, members of Carmelite Secular Institutes, lay-persons from the Carmelite Third Order and Discalced Secular Order, Discalced Carmelite nuns and friars, the Brown Scapular Confraternity, and other members of the Carmelite Family will be taking part. A spokesman said: "We hope it will be a wonderful celebration of the gifts brought to the Church and the world by Carmelite lay-people and women religious." To mark the celebrations, the Minster authorities will be displaying several medieval Carmelite artefacts now in their care. Admission to the service is by ticket only and these are being issued from the Carmelite Projects Office at: Carmelite Project Office, More House, Heslington, York, YO10 5DX. The Carmelite Order was founded more than 800 years ago in the Holy Land. The first communities were established in England in 1242. For more information about the service, the history of the Carmelites, and their activities today contact the Carmelite Projects Office or visit the Province website at: www.carmelite.org/cumnulla/
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