In Gratitude: from Fr. Christopher Willis

To the memory of Canon James Farrell who was my first parish priest when I was newly ordained. To my predecessors, Fr. Eugene Pathe and Fr. Neil Gallanagh who helped pave the way for the move we make today.

Bishop David Konstant has been a source of strength and guidance. Thank you for making provision for the Catholics of the parish, now and in the future. Thank you for being with us today.

The people of the parish are remarkable and unselfish. You have thought of future generations. Your support to the new Church has been outstanding. We supported each other from criticism outside of the parish.

To numerous fellow priests for their friendship, advice and kindness. Thanks especially to those who had the misfortune to live with me. Fr. Gerald Creasey, Fr. Nigel Polland and Fr. Stephen Brown. Thanks to Sister Pauline who has loyally supported us and to her Order, the Vincentians. Without the commitment to team work this transplant to a new Church would not have happened.

Mr. Mills, his staff and pupils of St. Patrick’s Primary School must have been inconvenienced during the building works. Thanks for your patience. We thank Mr Michael Bateson, the architect for always being approachable and professional. We thank Q.S.P Construction Services for the high quality of the building work.

Thanks also to Mgr Anthony Boylan for practical advice and direction and to Mr David Damant for his wisdom and guidance with building the new Church and the sale of our existing property.

Thanks to our housekeepers, Mrs Mary Hughes and Mrs Mary Verity, personal friends and family – for just being there.

We thank Hughes Funeral Services for sponsoring our brochure.

Our New Church:

We now have a new church that must always be open to everyone to worship the Lord. Fr. Creasey reminded us. The church is not a building but the people. We are a pilgrim people on our journey to the Kingdom of heaven.

On this historic day in the life of the parish we ask God to bless us. May St Patrick, the missionary, give his spirit of teaching and mission to us as a community of faith in Jesus Christ. May we resolve to reach out to others in faith, compassion and love.