The Broughton Catholic Charitable Society came into being in the late 18th Century after a smallpox epidemic had ravaged the Broughton district of the Fylde – one of the most intensely Catholic areas in England.
(No fewer than seven of the English Martyrs were born within a 7-mile radius of the village).
The disease carried off many smallholders, whose families would have been destitute had not the rest of the community helped them with money and by working their lands. When the epidemic abated, those good people continued to meet in local farmhouses, some of them Mass centres in penal days, to help the needy and to have Masses said for the living and dead.
In time the idea grew up of forming a permanent society. As the Golden Ball at the Broughton crossroads on the present A6 offered a central position, the first meeting took place there on 6 May 1787. The priests and laypersons of the Society have dined together in the Broughton area on each Whit Tuesday ever since.
The AGM and lunch had to be cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The work of the charity however continued during this time.
The 2021 AGM and lunch will take place at the Garstang Country Hotel on the 25th May 2021, over 230 years since the first meeting.
Further information on the Broughton Catholic Charitable Society can be found here