Restoring the old Font back to its home
When the original church became the Hall in 1977, various items were made available for a donation to members of the parish. The font was taken into safekeeping by Denis Watts who looked after it until his death last year. Through the good offices of Fr. Andrew, who kept in touch with the family, it was brought back from Sussex by John and Frances Chamberlain. A very heavy load in the back of the car!
With much ingenuity and effort by John and John Scott it was unloaded and stored until recently. Helped by more apparatus and the added muscle power of Ian Phillips and Mark Gardner, the font was finally installed last month in the parish garden.
Many parishioners were baptised in it until 1977, including Fr. Andrew, who blessed it in a quiet ceremony which included these words;
Heavenly Father, we ask you to bless all those once baptised in this font. May it now be a permanent reminder of our own baptism and the consecration to Your service through that sacrament. We ask this through Our Lord, Amen.
Ensuring the door can open in welcome
Thanks to John, John and Mark who today worked hard to ensure we can open the porch door to welcome the hoards we hope will be returning soon! Thanks as always to them for their wonderful maintenance work.
Transforming the chairs from scrape to glide
Frances and John Chamberlain showed great patience and fortitude as they removed every old chair foot pad from every red chair in the parish and replaced them with fresh pads. This will stop the chairs from sanding the wooden floor every time they are pulled out from the table. Great thanks to Frances and John.
Keeping the garden tidy with a smile
Anne Collins enjoying a sunny Saturday morning doing a bit of gardening at church to
help keep the grounds tidy. “Gives me some fresh air and exercise too”, she
remarked. It keeps the grounds looking lovely for the parish to enjoy, and helps keep up the spirits of those who tend the garden. If you want to enjoy the same sense of satisfaction as Anne and the gardening team, then turn up in the car park at 9am on the first Saturday of the month.
Programming the heating just got a lot easier
Thanks to John for sorting all the heating controls – moving them from the hall to the parish office. Life just got a lot easier because of it.
Having successfully ensured the smooth installation of a new and improved church hall heating control system, John is now setting it up ready for the colder weather. He also carried out much of the initial work in preparation for the subcontractors and did the heavy job of digging a trench for laying cables.
John has the blues….
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
Organ base material recycled to create composter
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
John S and Philippe work extremely hard to get out a very resistant root from in front of the shed.
Meanwhile inside the shed John C is ensuring it will stand up to the strain of its future incumbents.
All for the benefit of the parish during the current renovation work.