The Priory of England and the Islands was established in 1999 and is one of the eleven Priories that make up the Order of St John, along with five Commanderies and a number of St John Associations. The Priory is charged with ensuring the delivery of the charitable mission of the Order in England, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
In England, the Priory primarily achieves this through its wholly-owned subsidiary, St John Ambulance, to which it has delegated its first aid, care and activities for young people. Other activities undertaken by the Priory include:
- the maintenance of the traditions and integrity of the Order in England;
- honouring those who have faithfully served the Order;
- the upkeep of the historic buildings and the Museum;
- supporting the St John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem;
- supporting smaller St John Associations overseas; and
- the maintenance of the St John Fellowship.
The Priory does this through the work of the Priory Affairs and Museum departments, the Fellowship office and through a network of County Priory Groups, made up of local volunteers, who act as ambassadors for St John.
The Priory maintains oversight of four Commanderies in Northern Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, which are legally separate from the Priory and carry out the Order’s mission in those territories.
The Priory also supports the work of the:
The Priory is the custodian of the Museum of the Order of St John, situated within St John’s Gate in Clerkenwell, and has a wide range of artefacts associated with the Order, the Priory and St John Ambulance on display.