Bishop David McGough has consecrated a Catholic church in Staffordshire, writes Józef Łopuszyński.
The Birmingham auxiliary bishop consecrated St Christopher’s Church in Codsall, Staffordshire, which had managed to clear its debt over 10 years.
Speaking after the event, Bishop McGough said: “It’s always wonderful to come and share with the parish the joy of the consecration of a church. But that always represents the dedication of so many people over many generations.
“It’s wonderful to see people embodying in themselves what the consecration of their church represents, and that is to say that Christ dwells here amongst these people and in their hearts, and so I pray that that will guide them and lead them in all the years that lie ahead.”
Fr Dominic Chukka, parish priest, was also full of joy. He said: “The consecration was a wonderful occasion and celebration, with parishioners, friends, and fellow clergy attending.
The whole project of planning, building and fundraising for the new church has been a tremendous parish community effort, and it is particularly fitting to be able to have the consecration on the 10th anniversary of its completion.”
At the end of the Mass, Bishop McGough read out a message from the Pope: “The Holy Father, Benedict XVI, cordially imparts the requested Apostolic Blessing to the parish priest, the Rev Dominic Chukka and the parishioners of St Christopher’s church, Codsall, in the Archdiocese of Birmingham, invoking abundant divine graces on the occasion of the blessing and consecration of the church on October 17.”
The new church replaced the original smaller one built in 1934 on the same site, the parish having begun in 1931 when Codsall was a tiny village and Mass was originally celebrated in a local teashop.
Through a large variety of fundraising activities, including strawberry teas in the summer, people abseiling down buildings, and a significant bequest in the will of a former parishioner, the parish raised all the £500,000 necessary.