The parish of the Holy Ghost, Balham is one of the most thriving parishes in the Archdiocese of Southwark. The parish priest, Fr Stephen Langridge, and the assistant priest, Fr Marcus Holden, work hard, set a good example of the priestly life and actively evangelise in their parish. The make-up of the congregation is mixed in age, ethnic origin and social background. To say that it is mixed in age means that there are lots of young people involved in the parish.
One initiative that they have started is the Forum Christi. A group of young adults meet at the evening Mass, and then stay on afterwards in one of the parish rooms. There is a 15-minute catechesis, followed by tea and biscuits (this is England, you know!) and then a more extensive lecture. The evening is rounded off by a visit to the Nightingale pub.
Fr Marcus Holden began this evening with an illustrated talk on the use of images in catechesis. It was a most enlightening exercise - he concluded by using three works of art in very different styles to show how they could be understood and used to teach people about the faith.
I was there tonight to give the lecture which was on the subject of AIDS, Condoms and the Catholic Church (see next post). It was great to meet Fr Andrew Pinsent and his parents who were visiting. (shown to the left with some of the group) The group asked some intelligent questions and proved very good company over a pint afterwards. As usual, I wished I could have stayed longer.