RAPID GROWTH OF CHURCH IN BOURNEMOUTH DISTRICT
On Wednesday, January 11, Mgr. William Cotter, Bishop of Portsmouth, laid the foundation stone of the Church of St. Thomas More at fiord, near Bournemouth.
The new church, made necessary by the rapidly growing needs of the district, will cost about £9,000, and is designed to seat about 600 persons.
About three hundred persons attended the ceremony.
The style of the new church is Normen. It has a spacious nave, two wide aisles and a sanctuary, which when completed will rank among the most beautiful to be found in any church in the district.
Leading off from one of the aisles is a large sacristy adjoined by a smaller one. To the right of the main entrance Is the baptistry and over the entrance itself a mosaic panel of St. Thomas More will be erected.
To Have Gallery At one end of the nave and opposite to the sanctuary a gallery is to be built to accommodate over 50 people.
A presbytery has been included in the scheme and there is sufficient space on one side of the church for it.
The whole of the building is being carried out in red brick on reinforced concrete foundations.
The architect, who has designed over fifty churches in various parts of the country, is Mr Thomas H. B. Scott, F.R.I.B.A., who was also responsible for the church at Southbourne.
Beneath the foundation stone was placed a casket containing a history of the church, inscribed on parchment, together with sacred medals and coins of the realm.
Obligations of People
After the ceremony the Bishop addressed the gathering. reminding the people of their obligations to assist in completing the building of the church.
He urged them to do all they could to see that the new church was equipped adequately in every way and used to the glory of God, and reminded them that their interest was not only in paying off the debt, but in spreading the faith to which the church stood witness.
The building was being raised in an area where some 70 or SO years ago there teem only two Catholic churches —one at Burton Park and the other near Lulworth Cove. To-day in the same district the Catholic churches were almost beyond counting.
The pioneer of the present building in recent times was the Church of Our Lady of Peace at Southbourne.
The Bishop then recalled with gratitude the names of some of the outstanding benefactors of the Church in the district, naming the late Fr. de Lapasture and Mrs Cundy.
The Bishop was assisted in the ceremony by Mgr. King, Bien., Auxiliary. and by Fr. W. Gibbons, S.J., rector of Corpus Christi, Bournemouth, from whith for the present St. Thomas More will be served.
Other priests in attendance Included Fre. G. Turner, S.J., and T. Coverdale, S.J. (Corpus Christi), P. Smith, S.J., J. McArdle, S.J., and J. Bridge, 5.1, (Church of the Sacred Heart. Bournemouth). J. Hetherington (Our Lady, Queen of Peace, Southbourne). G. Barrett, S.J., V. Boehrne, SI., L. Reliant!, S.J., F. me% S.S., Burrows, S.1., F. Pinkman, and H. Flynn.