WHEN FR PATRICK TANSEY left his parish at Faringdon in Oxfordshire to become parish priest of Tadley and Kingsclere in Hampshire in November 2008, his parishioners asked him if he would like a farewell gift.
Buckland and Faringdon parish had just enabled him to complete a £380,000 refurbishment of Blessed Hugh Faringdon church. Blessed Hugh was the last abbot of the great Benedictine Abbey of Reading, and some believe he was born in Faringdon.
He was executed in 1539 for refusing to surrender the abbey to King Henry VIII. Coincidentally, the Church of St James in Reading, where Fr Tansey was ordained priest in 1982, stands in the ruins of Reading Abbey.
In response to the request from his previous parishioners for ideas Fr Tansey said he would appreciate a painting of the refurbished church. On March 8 Tony Fletcher and Reggie Norton of Buckland and Faringdon parish council visited Tadley to present Fr Tansey with a commissioned painting, which delighted him. He was also given a cheque to enhance his wine cellar.
The painting, executed in oils by Seijo Wentworth, is a montage of the main features of the refurbished church. It is currently on display in St Michael’s Church, Tadley.