Sunday, 21 November 2010

All Saints Hersham Celebrates 50 Years

Bishop Kieran with Hersham Parishioners
Canon Brendan MacCarthy, Parish Priest of All Saints, Hersham reports on the parish's Golden Jubilee celebrations: "Our Parish Church was officially opened by Bishop Cyril Cowderoy of Southwark on -the Feast of All Saints 1960. 'It was built by Fr. Robert Madden, then Parish Priest of St Erconwald's, Walton, on the land bought by his predecessor, Fr. John Jeffries.

Fr. Denis Hayes, All Saints' first Parish Priest came to Hersham on 17th July 1961. The Church was consecrated by Bishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor on 1st November 1978 . Great credit is due to the many parishioners in those days who worked hard in raising the necessary funds to free the parishfrom debt and thus allow the consecration of our parish church.

Fr. Hayes was transferred to Lewes in August 1972. Fr. Michael Spelman took his-place and remained at Hersham until he was transfered to Horsham in 1981.Fr. Kevin Steen became Parish Priest in 1982, and remained in Hersham for 10 years. Fr. Brendan MacCarthy took his place, arriving in Hersham on 8'* September 1992.

Cardinal Newman Catholic Primary School was opened by Bishop David Cashman (First Bishop of Arundel & Brighton) on 25th June 1966. It catered for 280 pupils, and its first Head teacher was Mr Michael O'Malley. It is now a thriving two-form entry Primary School. On this Parish Golden Jubilee Day, we salute its present Head teacher, Ms Gill Keany, and her staff of thirty-four. May Blessed John Henry Newman guide and prosper their work in the service of Catholic Education.

The heart of our Parish is Jesus in the Eucharist, and our church is the Parish 'living room' where He welcomes us in friendship and peace. There too we remember Mary, Queen of All Saints - mother of every family and of every parish community.

As your Parish Priest, I thank especially all whose faithfulness, generosity and dedication help make our parish what it is. We belong to each other in the Body of Christ. The presence of Bishop Kieran this morning gives added focus to our unity with him, who, as our Bishop, is our Shepherd, Teacher and Father 'in Christ'.

On behalf of all gathered at All Saints for our Parish Feast, I thank Bishop Kieran warmly for celebrating our Jubilee Mass. We are a parish 'in mission'. May our Golden Jubilee celebration help renew our Catholic faith. May we be 'doers of God's word and not hearers only'. Responsive also in prayer to the personal holiness to which each of us is called, and determined in our witness to the Gospel, as we live each day for the greater glory of God."

(This is a shorten version of his speech given All Saints, 31" October 2010)

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