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Bene Merenti for Bookshop Manager

There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.
1 Corinthians 12, 5


Bene Merenti for Bookshop Manager

Bishop Terence, during an Advent Mass at the Cathedral, presented Mr Michael Silgrim with a Bene Merenti Medal from Pope Benedict XVI for his long service as the former Manager of the CTS Bookshop.

This medal is one of the highest honours which can be bestowed on a lay person in the Catholic Church. Benemerenti means ‘a well-deserving person’.

The citation for the medal describes how Mr Silgram was manager of the CTS shop for over 20 years.  He served with distinction in difficult times which saw the bookshop re-located three times: from South King Street to Princess Street to Brazennose Street.


Mr Silgram’s faith has always been his inspiration.  He lives his Catholic Faith every day, as is evident to all who meet him.  He attends Holy Mass daily and is exemplary in his family life.  His quiet and modest manner hides a deep spirituality.

The award of the Bene Merenti medal recognises his services and also the importance of the work of the Catholic Truth Society.

Bishop Terence also presented a Papal Blessing to Catherine Boyland who retired last year from the CTS Bookshop 

Mrs Boyland gave 38 years of service in the CTS (Diocese of Salford), working in the shops in South King Street, Princess Street and Brazennose Street. Well-known to very many Catholics and non-Catholics who frequented the Manchester city centre and respected as always knowledgeable and courteous. 

The Catholic Truth Society in the Diocese of Salford

We owe the start of the Catholic Truth Society to Herbert Vaughan, Bishop of Salford 1872-1892, Archbishop of Westminster and Cardinal 1892-1903.

Herbert Vaughan visited America in the 1860’s and stayed there for about 18 months.  His experiences there gave him a new appreciation of the Press and the apostolate of the written word.  He began the CTS and saw it as sowing the seeds of Faith.

The CTS came to Salford in 1892 and continues still to “sow the seeds of Faith”. The first meeting to plan the formation of the Salford CTS was held in St Bede’s College on 16 November 1892 but interestingly the actual formation of the Salford CTS, when it received its constitution, was here at Salford Cathedral, in the Bishop’s Reception Room, on 12 December 1892. Dr Casartelli, future Bishop of Salford, was elected as the first president. Among the six council members elected was Daniel McCabe, later Sir Daniel and the first Catholic Lord Mayor of Manchester.

That December meeting at Cathedral House set out the objectives of the CTS.  As well as providing reading, the objectives included giving “lantern lectures from slides prepared by the CTS”.

Since then the CTS has had several shops, from Brazennose Street  to John Dalton Street to South King Street to Princess Street, back to Brazennose Street and now at the Cathedral, where it began in 1892.  The CTS has tried to keep up with the varying times, with lantern lectures and conferences, printed books and cards and pamphlets, catechetical resources, devotional objects, tours to places of Catholic interest, support for the diocesan media, videos, DVDs, CDs and so into the world of cyberspace today.

The Catholic Truth Society is now responsible for the newly opened dicoesan bookshop Cathedral Centre Books.