Father Ed's Blog

A Catholic priest reflects…

The last big push

Did you think things had been a little quiet in Pembury recently? Well think again! Much work has been going on beneath the surface and July is going to be an exciting and busy month for the parish of St. Anselm’s. Not just because we have our first communion and confirmations but because we have BIG NEWS regarding our beautification project; no less than three items have been secured to enable us to finish the transformation of a 1960’s hall into a church fit for worship.

The first of these, pictured above, is a magnificent stained window, depicting Peter falling as he approaches Jesus on the water. It has been gifted to our parish by the Worshipful Company of Glaziers in London and dates from the early part of the 20th Century. We are deeply indebted to Fr. Nicholas who has put much time and effort into securing it for us. And, subject to permission from the diocese, we hope to install it in the sanctuary above the main altar to replace the current window.

This Saturday a magnificent new reredos (detail shown above) will be placed in the Sanctuary to the glory of God. It fits perfectly over the recently built gradine and will bring much needed dignity and balance to the sanctuary. It is so perfect in that it matches the furnishings we have already secured. God is good to us.

Finally we have been gifted a stone font, arriving in the near future. So three wonderful arrivals to help us push forward with the work we have begun. That is the very, very good news! The bad news is that there are some costs involved in installing these things and transporting them. And this is where you come in!

The final phase of our restoration project has become clear. The window needs placing in a special wooden frame and then mounting in the wall of the sanctuary. The font needs transporting and, in time, a cover secured. And, in addition to this, we need to overhaul the present lighting in church which is not only inadequate, think 1970’s school hall, but also failing. To this end I am meeting with a lighting specialist this week to secure an estimate.

In the coming days the total we need to raise will become clear. A gift day will be held in the parish on July 16th – the date of our confirmations- during which a donation box will be placed before the sacrament in church. Those wanting to assist us in finishing the work we have begun are encouraged to do so on this day.

Finally might I appeal to regular readers of this blog? Ours is only a very small parish and, whilst God has richly blessed our attempts to transform this space to God’s glory, help from outside is also needed. Could you send a gift to enable us to finish what we have begun? Cheques can be sent to me at the Presbytery; 31 Henwoods Crescent, Pembury, TN2 4LJ. Alternatively you can email me for the bank details and transfer something electronically.

Thank you in advance to all who will come to our aid…

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  1. Fr Barry Tomlinson

    How will you cope with the different shape of the window? Plain glass surround? Brick in to fit?

    • Admin

      The plan is to rest the framed new window on the sill of the existing one, leaving the existing window to the rear for protection, and then infill the side panels, with black painted ply to rear, and plasterboard the front. Effectively making a plug with the new over the old and saving money, if possible, on major structural changes.

  2. Joe

    It’s amazing how the reredos fit so perfectly
    And works so well with the side seating
    Can’t quite get my head around it!
    It looks brilliant
    And I’m not a huge fan of gothic!

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