It seems unbelievable, but it is only three weeks until the official Opening of our new Parish Centre! This will take place on Sunday, 9th February, starting at one o’clock in the church, and is open to the entire Parish. There will be a short Liturgy - not a Mass - presided over by the Bishop. It will include the singing of a Te Deum specially commissioned for the occasion. We will process from the church to the new Centre and the Bishop will bless the walls - inside and out - with Holy Water, before we all enter the new building for an afternoon of celebration. Please put this date in your diary and do come along, even for a part of the afternoon, which will conclude by four o’clock. In addition to the presence of the Bishop, we have also invited the Mayor and our Member of Parliament, together with members of the Diocesan Curia and those who have been responsible for the construction of the building. Elsewhere in the Newsletter the Parish Centre Committee have outlined how the Parish Centre may be utilised and all enquiries and queries should go through them using the specially designated email contact: Parish Centre Committee at gmail.com
It goes without saying that this is the fruit of almost ten years of planning, fundraising and effort on the part of so many groups and individuals. I believe that the Parish will be rightly proud of what has materialised and that the end result is not only beyond my own expectation but will be a noble and fitting tribute to this and future generations of Parishioners. The Centre consists of a large function room upstairs (The Gilbert Room) and a small hall downstairs (The St Clement Room, suitable for refreshments after Masses) and two smaller rooms (The St Bernadette Room and The Newman Room) which can be used by committees and groups for meetings. There will be a substantial Garden which can be used for Summer events and a car park which can accommodate around fifteen cars together with parking for bicycles! There will also be a small cloistered area incorporating a Cinerarium (for the burial of ashes) and we will give details later about provision for such burials. In short, an exciting project coming to completion and a celebration which I am so looking forward to!
God bless you all!
Fr Kevin Hale