Warm welcome to city for friends from the ‘other’ Lancaster

Rev Chris Newlands from Lancaster Priory (right) with visitors from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA.
Rev Chris Newlands from Lancaster Priory (right) with visitors from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA.

A group of American visitors from our namesake city have enjoyed a trip to Lancaster on Independence Day.

Lancaster Priory hosted 26 members of the congregation from St James Church from Lancaster in Pennsylvania.

The group were welcomed to Lancaster Town Hall by the Mayor of Lancaster, Coun Robert Redfern on the morning of July 4, the day when Americans celebrate the anniversary of the adoption of their Declaration of Independence from the British Empire on July 4 1776.

Coun Redfern was presented with a letter from Lancaster’s mayor and gifts were also given out.

The visitors then had a look around the town hall and heard stories from Lancaster’s past, including the tale of Buck Ruxton who murdered his wife in Dalton Square in the 1930s and was hanged for the crime.

During their trip the group stayed with members of the Priory congregation and attended Sunday services at the church which included a special celebration and barbecues.

While staying in our district they also enjoyed fish and chips in Morecambe and a trip to St Peter’s Curch in Heysham and the ancient chapel of St Patrick.

“The American visitors were thrilled to receive such warm hospitality from their British cousins,” said Rev Chris Newlands of the Priory Church.

“They were very impressed that the Priory flag of St George was flying to welcome them and even the sun was persuaded to come out and shine on them.”

The American ‘pilgrims’ were led by their Rector, Father David Peck, who also preached at the Priory on Sunday evening.

Father David lived in Britain for 20 years and formerly worked with the former Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Rowan Williams, as his Secretary for International Development at Lambeth Palace.

Rev Newlands said the Priory congregation hopes to pay a return visit to Pennsylvania in the near future.


Lancaster, Pennsylvania was home to James Buchanan, 15th president of the USA.

It is seven square miles in size and its population is around 60,000.

Originally called Hickory Town, the city was renamed after the English city of Lancaster by 
native John Wright.

Its symbol, the red rose, is from the House of Lancaster.

The current Lancaster County Prison, built in 1851, was styled after our own Lancaster Castle.