Parish Building, Maintenance and Restoration projects

Just testing…

During maintenance on the old bell tower, John and Frances checked if the bell was still there. And yes! – it was.

If you’ve got a bell, you’ve got to ring it, don’t you?

The cold does not deter them

Thanks to John and Philippe who spent a cold and wet day building a soil retaining wall under the slope up to the Presbytery entrance. We enter the presbytery in safety!!

Installation of the new crucifix

For a while now we have had the crucifix that was originally in the Sacristy corridor hanging above the altar in the church. A number of years ago we had one gifted to the parish by an old friend and fellow seminarian of Fr. Tom’s, Fr. Robert who is the parish priest of St Luke’s in Pinner.

After being stored in a cupboard for years, the corpus was in need of some TLC. Thanks to John Chamberlain’s repairs and Janina Woznicka’s careful repainting, the corpus was ready to be installed in the sanctuary. Clever use of ladder and rope enabled a safe lift to complete the restoration project.

Rejuvenating the church hall chairs

This might look like a plan to provide overflow seating for our popular Mass – but was in reality a busy day spent cleaning up the hall chairs. Thank you Trish, John and Frances.

In memory of the organ

A few of the old organ pipes have found a home on display above the adult library in the church.

Organ base material recycled to create composter

Thanks to John and Philippe for their hard work creating a composter behind the Emmanuel Centre. Another step in the parish efforts striving to reuse or recycle everything that they can.

Parish organ RIP

On Saturday 11th August we said goodbye to the old organ which had been gradually disappearing over the previous weeks. It served us well but we have now reclaimed the light and space of the church. The new Viscount organ has proved very popular with all our organists and musicians. We are grateful to the team of parishioners who helped with the dismantling. See below for the pictorial story.

Side Chapel Project 

We love our church and its space and feeling of openness. However it is not without its drawbacks, including cost of heating all the space, the noise of the heating system, the lack of intimacy for smaller services and lack of adequate ventilation and natural light.

A parishioner has very generously agreed to pay for a side chapel to be built. This structure will extend out from the edge of the confessional to the side of the church. This will be external to the existing church built on the space towards the road. The inside wall will be glass so that people in the chapel will be able to see and hear the Mass when it is in the church. Such a chapel will be ideal for weekday Masses and other evening services which only attract fewer than 30 people for most masses. It will provide a warm intimate venue with outside access for parishioners. It will also provide an emergency escape route from the main church which is suitable for those parishioners in wheelchairs. On Sundays it can also be used by those families who are concerned about younger members of their family who can be restless. They will be able to see and hear the Mass without feeling they are disturbing those around them.

The Diocese own the building so are involved with the planning of the this extension to our church. Planning permission for the structure has been granted by the district planning office. A further meeting with the Diocese is planned in November to determine all the stages in this building project.

Details of the plan can be found below

Your feedback is welcome. Please email Roger Hyde at  with any comments you wish to make.

The Gift of Solar Panels

The LiveSimply team would like to share with the parish our appreciation and gratitude to the Augustinians of the Assumption, that have served our parish for many years, for the very generous gift to the parish of around £11,500, these are funds from the Order to cover all the cost the newly installed PV system on the roof of the refurbished Christopher House.   The system is made-up of 16 Panasonic 330W panels (at its peak capable of generating 5280 watts).  The system is estimated to produce over 5000 kWh per year, and reducing the parish’s carbon footprint by 2.65 tonnes per year.  In particular we want to thank Fr. Tom O’Brien, our parish priest, for his determination in bringing the Diocese around to permitting this investment for the future to be installed on their property.     This was also made possible because of quite a few measures undertaken in the past to make the parish energy efficient, meant that the Presbytery and offices got a EPC ratting of C (not just the minimum D), which is very good indeed.

We would like to also thank the chair of the Parish Council, Roger Hyde, and the chair of the Finance Committee, David Wilson, for all the difficult dealings with Diocese surveyors and trustees.   We thank the professional Solinvictus company that supplied and installed them.

The system is now set-up to deliver day-time on-site generated electricity to the areas served by a common meter, these include: the church, the parish sacristies and office, the Presbytery and Doris Harris room, Emmanuel House (new pastoral centre), and the top flat of Christopher House that Fr. Michael will be living in, and in time will be able to serve also any electric cars the parish clergy and staff may use.

This is indeed a most generous gift that is already helping the parish by reducing our electricity running costs in the present and for many years into the future.   A real example of taking existing funds and investing them in delivering much needed solutions for mitigating the growing impact of human activity responsible for the changing climate, instead of investing in climate damaging type funds.

In the future, we look forward to share with everyone, the good news of the benefits that this gift and investment will deliver each year to the parish.   Praise God for the gift of Brother Sun, so radiant, reliable, and source of all the energy we need for life!  And praise God that we can be so proud of having in our parish now “open hands” on a roof to gladly receive such a gift shinning on it, to accept it and to use it wisely and carefully!   We Praise God for the gift of Brothers Wind and (Clean) Air for all creations to breath, and rejoice that in our parish we have started along the path to reduce the pollution that is being dumped in it.

From Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon of St. Francis of Assisi:

“Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour,
Of You Most High, he bears the likeness

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
In the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
And fair and stormy, all weather’s moods,
by which You cherish all that You have made. …”

Praise God for all the gifts and talents that have made this possible, Amen!

Mother and Toddler Cupboard

Thanks to John and Tony and friend who sorted out the Mother and Toddler cupboard in the parish hall so that it is now one cupboard. They looked like they were having fun!

Restoration of Our Lady and Child

Janina is restoring our statue of Our Lady and child. See below for pictures of how she is at present and keep checking for update pictures. She will be out of the church for a couple of months. We are so grateful to Janina for her wonderful work doing this.

The building of the shed & the battle of the roots


Shed being painted


Shed roof being finished

All done

Shed complete

John S and Philippe work extremely hard to get out a very resistant root from in front of the shed.

John and Philippe battling with roots 2 John and Philippe battling with roots 1


Meanwhile inside the shed John C is ensuring it will stand up to the strain of its future incumbents.

John preparing shed 1

John preparing shed 2

All for the benefit of the parish during the current renovation work.