80 years of Leeds SVP: a well-organised event!
11th April 2017
Members of the Leeds branch of St Vincent de Paul Society recently marked 80 years of service to the community with Mass celebrated at Christ the King Parish in Bramley by The Rt Rev Marcus Stock, Bishop of Leeds.
Canon Tim Wiley is Chaplain to Leeds SVP, and preached the Homily to those gathered to honour the Society’s work and its Volunteers throughout the last eight decades. Among the attendees were outgoing and incoming Presidents Albert Maher and Marie Atherton, and Justice and Peace campaigner, parishioner, and former MP for Leeds West, John Battle. Mass was followed by a dinner of gourmet chilli and potatoes, home-cooked to a special recipe by the Parish Priest in the church hall’s brand new kitchen.
Christ the King was the first Leeds Parish (along with the Cathedral) to launch the SVP, a fact that is commemorated by a plaque in the parish hall. Since its own 80th anniversary in 2008, the neo-Romanesque church has been brought back to something of its former glory. Memorial plaques recognise the donors and their families who contributed to replacing plastic windows with coloured glass; the Crucifix on the altar has also been restored; and a newly-renovated bell rings the Angelus each day.
Parish Priest, Fr Paul Redmond, thanked everyone who has been involved with fund-raising, donations and legacies that have financed the many enhancements to both the hall and the church: the latest of which have enabled the purchase of a new Viscount 35-S organ. At the beginning of the Mass, Bishop Marcus blessed the new organ which had been installed just in time for the SVP event and was played by SVP member, Peter Siney, from St Joseph's Parish in Pudsey. The instrument should be ‘voiced’ to the church’s acoustic in time for the Holy Week services.
It is a rare honour for a parish church organ to be blessed by a Bishop –a blessing which is always done with incense, as even holy water can short-out circuits on electronic organs, and on pipe organs can cause damage to the mechanical action, pipes and bellows. Fr Paul says the singing at Mass has already improved immensely, but in keeping with Lenten tradition, the Parish will have to ‘…wait until the feast of the Resurrection to feel its full power.’
The whole Diocese will be listening out for that on Easter Sunday!
Please follow the link to view and order photographs of the occasion taken by Patrick Sice: https://www.patricksicephotography.co.uk/blog/svp