As regular readers know builders are presently on site at Saint Anselm’s as our project to build a new parish room, and thereby create a permanent church for the community, is well under way. This week a new entrance is being constructed and the beautiful external crucifix salvaged from a redundant convent, pictured above, is being moved to its permanent home. It will now greet people as they enter the grounds of our church, a powerful reminder of whom we serve and in whose name all this work is being done.
Ours is a small congregation so funding was ever a challenge. But that challenge was lessened this week when the Friends of the Ordinariate very generously awarded a grant of £10,000 towards the work. This grant sits alongside £30,000 already given to us by Southwark archdiocese and various other gifts from parishes and benefactors. The donations now total close to 50% of the work. And when you consider that our grounds are also being developed thanks to a grant from the local authority- it has been a great year for us in which we must give thanks to God for so much generosity.
Having satisfied the diocese of our ability to meet costs, the rest of the work is being funded by loans offered to us by parishes from within the diocese. The new hall/parish room will contain a commemorative plaque naming them- and our benefactors- in thanksgiving. And the new room is to be named the Hine Room after Bishop John Hine who retired as area bishop within the diocese last year. He is, to our knowledge, the only bishop to have been raised in Pembury and he will be visiting in the Autumn to unveil the plaque. We are also planning a special Mass of thanksgiving to officially open the room. Details to follow.
Once the hall is complete we will begin work on church renovation. We have a busy but productive decade ahead! If anyone wishes to make a donation towards our project- and the later beautification of our church- they can do so by emailing me directly and requesting further information. Every penny helps!