MORE than 300 parishioners and past parishioners of St Dunstan's joined together on Sunday, May 14, to celebrate 50 years of the permanent church in Bourne End, B uckinghamshire.
The event started with Bishop Peter Doyle of Northampton presiding at Mass with six concelebrating priests; the church was packed and the congregation raised the roof with its singing. Mass was followed by a buffet lunch in the church hall, while children had their own lunch boxes and entertainment in a marquee.
The hall used for the lunch was, in fact, the building which started out as the first permanent place of worship for the Catholic community in Bourne End. Catholics had been allowed a room in a local pub for Mass, and Fr George McCann used to cycle from Burnham to celebrate Mass for them. Then a group decided that Bourne End needed its own place of worship and they got together to build the venue themselves; photos of the building process were on display and showed, among others, a young man who went on to become a priest: Fr Peter Marsh. How fitting therefore that both Fr George and Fr Peter were with us to concelebrate the Mass, and later to help cut the celebration cake.
Booklets of the history of the parish (at £3 each) and videos (at £10) of the celebrations will be available shortly (contact Lit Yeeles on 01628 521748).