Sunday 25th May marks the Centenary of the Consecration of St Joseph’s Church and the official opening of the extended church. Building started in 1884 but wary of getting into debt only the nave was completed at the time. Thanks to the generosity of members of the Parish, funds were raised and the Sanctuary, side altars, and tower were added in 1914. Now the church was complete it could be Consecrated and was in splendid style by Rt. Rev. W.T. Cotter, D.D., Bishop of Portsmouth with Rt. Rev. Abbot Larkin, O.S.B. D.D., of Douai Abbey, as the preacher at Mass for the formal opening the following day. Numerous priests from the diocese were present at both ceremonies.
During the weekend 24th/25th May there will be a display in the Parish Centre. The 10.45am Mass will be a Mass of Thanksgiving and there will be a small reception in the Centre afterwards.
Besides recounting the historic events of 1914 it has been decided to make this a ‘Centennial Project’ – to also celebrate the Parish in the 100 years since. We are looking for memories of Parishioners – events (religious and social), people and building projects – anything that will help create a picture of St Joseph’s Parish over the years and in 2014. We would love to see as many photos as you have so they can be used in the display. We would like to borrow them, scan and then return them to you (unless you would like to donate them to the Parish Archives).
We are aiming to get a reasonable display for the Centenary and to put information on the website. There won’t be time to collect everything before the end of May and also once people start to see others’ memories it may well trigger their own recollections. We will collect information throughout the year and then early next year put everything together and produce a booklet. This will be available for Parishioners but importantly copies will be lodged in the Parish Archives so that in 100 years’ time the then Parishioners can look at them and see what has been accomplished to make St Joseph’s the vibrant community it has been for the last 100 years and indeed since the Parish was founded in 1871.
And for younger members of the Parish who perhaps don’t have too many memories yet – what do you think St Joseph’s will be like in 100 years’ time? Write a little story or produce some artwork with your ideas – let your imaginations flow!