St Mary’s: 2011 – Present

The Lord Bishop of London celebrated the 75th Patronal Festival with us in September. That was preceded by an open day during which over 100 people came into the church.  A new history of the Church was compiled by Trish Royle. A number of postcards and other memorabilia were produced to help celebrate this happy time. The season concluded with our Bishop Peter celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Consecration on December 3rd. We welcomed Bishop Lindsay Urwin OGS as preacher – Bishop Lindsay making a welcome return after his much remembered mission to the parish some years ago.

75th Anniversary of St Mary's
75th Anniversary of St Mary's

Bishop Robert Ladds [assistant bishop in the Diocese] also joined us, as did Fr David Sherwood [5th vicar]. Former curates, local clergy and visitors were all thrilled to be invited. Former Curates Fr Christopher Hardy, Fr Michael Moorhead, Fr David Parker, [Curate when Fr Shearing was Vicar], Fr Desmond Proberts [Curate when Fr Johnson was Vicar] and Fr Peter Vannozzi concelebrated at the Mass. Fr David Bone left St Mary’s as an eighteen year old back in Fr Johnson’s time and was delighted to be back in St Mary’s as a Priest. Fr Richard Andrew and Fr Mark Elliott Smith, both now Roman Catholics, were also at the Mass, as was Fr Michael Bedford who had helped out during the interregnum after Fr David Sherwood retired. Shelagh Smith had been at the Consecration 75 years before. [Her father-in-law was the organist Fr Johnson referred to as ‘Doc’. Anita Brown [widow of Fr Richard Brown] was also pleased to join in the celebrations. Many people who had once worshipped at St Mary’s but moved away, made the journey back. Others, including former Curates who could not come on the day, wrote lovingly of their time at St Mary’s. Thus ended a very happy period of celebration.

The PCC unanimously agreed to the installation of inner glass doors at the west end of the church, and to install automatic ringing bells. The Angelus chimes three times every day. The new glass inner doors at the west end have brought light to that part of the church and let people see in. They remind us as a congregation to look out as well. In January 2011 the Quinquennial Inspection of the church and hall took place. Ms Beate Neumarkel, our architect presented the report. Recommendations were that the flat roofs over the Link and hall needed replacing and repairs to the roof valleys over the St Leonard’s Chapel were needed. Instead of lead a new product called Ubiflex was used in the valleys and a team of roofers carried out the work during the summer.

Christmas at St Mary’s began with Lessons and Carols, the crib service and Midnight Mass. Many visitors joined us for the Midnight Mass and Mass of the Day. Fr Phillip Corbett preached on the Sunday of the Epiphany.