Saturday, 31 August 2013

St Catherine's Littlehampton Celebrates 150 Years

Bishop Kieran examines his Keralan souvenir against backdrop of parish timeline

Earlier this summer St Catherine's Church in Littlehampton celebrated its 150th birthday. Its sesquicentenary weekend began with a fish-and-chip supper for over 120 parishioners under a 40 ft-long display of the history of the church and its priests.

But the highlight was undoubtedly the Anniversary Mass concelebrated by Bishop Kieran, together with Fr Dominic O'Hara and Fr Albert van der Most, our parish priests for the last 25 years. Reflecting the ethnic mix of the parish, the celebrants entered the church amidst a panoply of brilliantly decorated Keralan umbrellas and a procession of ladies in colourful saris.

Later, after Bishop Kieran had cut the cake and been presented with a memento of the occasion - an elephant carrying both an umbrella and a picture of the Sacred Heart - the Keralan community provided a curry lunch and two hours of excellent entertainment for more than 150 of us. Fr David Rea, whose first parish this had been, gave a vote of thanks to all concerned, reflecting on the change in the composition of the parish from a largely Anglo-Irish congregation 50 years ago to a potentially more vibrant one that now includes large numbers from mainland Europe, Madeira, India and Africa. 

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