Founded in 1960, the Association of Papal Orders in Great Britain consists of members who have been honoured by the Vatican in one of the Pontifical Orders.
When such an honour is bestowed, the recipient is warmly invited to become a member of the Association. (Not all so honoured choose to do so).
The Pontifical Orders represent one of the highest and most prestigious distinctions which the Pope, who is not only Supreme Pontiff and Head of the Roman Catholic Church, but also “Sovereign Prince” (Fons Honorum) of the Vatican City State, can bestow on an individual. Such awards are made to lay people, both male and female, mainly of the Roman Catholic faith but also to those of other Christian denominations and indeed, other faiths. Such awards are granted in recognition of an individual’s pre-eminent service to their faith, community, or the work of the Holy See on a local, national or international level.