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Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Bishop Amigo opening Church in 1937

click to enlarge

One of my parishioners lent me this cutting from the Kentish times of 10 September 1937. It reports on the opening two days previously of the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen which had just been completed. There was High Mass, celebrated by Canon McCarity who founded the parish of St Stephen's Welling. It was from this parish that Blackfen was founded: it remained a chapel of ease until being erected as a parish in 1945.

The article notes that
"a choir of priests, led by Fr Coffey" occupied the Lady Chapel, the music being all plain chant,"
Fr Coffey was a renowned expert in Gregorian chant and did much to promote its use in the Diocese.

Bishop Amigo gave the sermon based on the words "He that is mighty" (Lk 1.49). He urged the people to be generous in paying off the debt; the Church had cost the princely sum of £2,500. They would soon be paying a further debt of the eye-watering sum of £9,000 - the sum required to build the school. (In fact, the building of the school was delayed by the war.)

I liked the note at the end:
Following the Blessing by the Bishop at the end of an impressive service, the congregation sang "God bless our Pope."
I have a few other old photos and intend to follow up a suggestion that we should have a page on the parish website for them.
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