Dear Parishioners and friends,
Last weekend we gathered at last in our beautifully renovated and expanded Parish Church Building. For many people, not to be able to enter our church building over the last year, has been a serious depravation. Re-entry felt like a joyful homecoming, a long awaited return from exile, with an opportunity to celebrate the presence of the risen Christ in our midst. New challenges and opportunities continue to emerge as a result of the pandemic including new ways of being Church and of worshipping together.
Though we are in the middle of the penitential season of Lent, it is surely a day of thanksgiving to God, gratitude and joy. It is no small thing for a Parish to spend a great deal of money on a renovation and indeed the expansion of its church building, especially at a time when finance is tight and social distancing, because of the pandemic, is still in force. Yet our Parish community had chosen to do so because the church is significant for the people’s hope and faith. St Paul reminds us that we are the Body of Christ. Now God dwells among his people, the Church, the early Christians were so convinced of this that they called the building constructed for worship ‘the house for the Church’ Domus Ecclesiae, or, as we are often reminded, it is the people who are the church and not the building. The building simply houses the Church. It was very pleasing to hear many of our Parishioners affirming the newly refurbished sacred space, with messages of gratitude through emails and text messages.
Once again I express my gratitude to the architects from Smith and Tracey, Raysett the builders, the Parish Council, the Building Committee, St James the Apostle Primary School, Thomas Carr College, and the many volunteers and donors who generously offered their time, energy and financial support to see this project through.