13 November 2014


On Wednesday 12 November, Dr Neil Conn AO was installed as the 17th Lord Prior by the Grand Prior His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester.


The Lord Prior is the third most senior individual within the Order, under the Sovereign Head the Queen, and His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester.


As Lord Prior Dr Conn will undertake six primary roles:

  • To be the principal adviser to the Grand Prior, with whom he collaborates closely, and act on behalf of the Grand Prior in all aspects of the Order’s affairs when the Grand Prior is not available;
  • To be the representative head of the order on any occasion on which neither the Sovereign Head nor the Grand Prior are present;
  • Subject to the Sovereign Head and the Grand Prior, he is the Head of the Order in its aspect as an Order of Chivalry;
  • To provide leadership of the Order in its charitable activities by promoting policy and presiding at meetings of the Order’s worldwide governing bodies;
  • To be the focus of unity for the members of the Order, its volunteers, staff and supporters;
  • To maintain the ethos and traditions of the Order.



The Installation took place in the Priory Church of the Order of St John in London in the presence of representatives from the 10 Priories, England and the Islands, Scotland, Wales, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, United States of America, Kenya, and Singapore; the 5 Commanderies, of Western Australia, Ards in Northern Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man; St John associations from around the world; and from the St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group.


On the site of the original round church built by the Knights of St John and consecrated in 1185, the Priory Church became the ideal place for Dr Conn to begin his tenure as the 17th Lord Prior. His banner will be displayed in the Priory Church until Dr Conn completes his administration and passes the role onto a successor.


In his address to the congregation, Dr Conn spoke of the notion of One St John. He explained that One St John represents the international federation of groups, individuals, paid staff, members, and volunteers who work in synergy in the service of humanity and to help those in need.


Dr Conn also pledged within his address to lead, protect, and build One St John in the coming years, in order for our organisation to reach and help more people.


On behalf of all of those who work and volunteers within the St John family, we would like to wish Dr Conn many congratulations and all the very best for his tenure as Lord Prior.


The Lord Prior Dr Neil Conn AO Speech Transcript