St Mary’s: 1980 – 1999

The Holy Posse was formed in May 1991 to cater for young people in the Parish. They usually met on a Friday evening for Mass followed by games and other social activities.

December 1992 saw the closure of the Chapel of St Francis at Quainton Hall School. Many members of that congregation soon settled in and became St Mary’s people.

Fr Brown reported that a member of the congregation of the St Francis Chapel had offered to purchase a statue of St Francis. The statue would be placed in the position previously occupied by Our Lady of Kenton.

Open To Love mission in 1992
Open To Love mission in 1992

1992 saw the ‘OPEN TO LOVE’ mission at St Mary’s. The mission ran from 28th May to the 7th June 1992.For 10 full days, our Church was taken over by Fr Linday Urwin and a group of people all dedicated in bringing alive the Mission at St Mary’s.

The 11th November 1992 St Mary’s remained open all day for prayer. This was the day the vote on the Ordination of women to the Priesthood took place and the result of the vote was expected in the late afternoon. Fr Brown wrote in the Record that followed that many were still in a state of shock over the decision to ordain women to the Priesthood. Fr Brown wrote, ‘For those unwilling to accept the new legislation, a new organisation, Forward in Faith has come into being. Those who could not in conscience, be in communion with a Bishop who ordains women would seek alternative Episcopal oversight. Some of us feel that the Church of England has turned its back on its historic catholic position with orthodox Christianity’.

In July 1993, the PCC discussed the viability of keeping or disposing of The Church of the Holy Spirit. Kenton can no longer afford 2 churches. Fr Brown asked the following questions: ‘Are we overburdened? Do we have too much baggage? Have we too much plant? Have we too many clergy?’ He said that it was highly probable that Fr Patrick would not be replaced. ‘A pilgrim people need only what is necessary for the journey’.

Father Brown - 4th Vicar of Kenton
Father Brown - 4th Vicar of Kenton

Plans were in progress for final services to be held in the Church of the Holy Spirit in 1993. The Greek Orthodox Community made an offer to purchase the church and the PCC were recommended to accept the offer. The London Diocesan Finance Board agreed the purchase of the Church of the Holy Spirit site by the Greek Orthodox Community for £400,000.00. The final Anglican Mass took place at the Church of the Holy Spirit with a party afterwards. Sadly this was the last time most of the parishioners saw Fr Brown as he was struck down by the illness that was to kill him.