The photographs below show some of our celebrations during the Centenary Year
VISIT TO THE SHRINE OF ST EDWARD THE CONFESSOR
As the final activity of celebration during the Centenary Year a vist to the Shrine of St Edward the Confessor was organised on 17 November 2010. Regretably we were not permitted to take photographs. However the picture above (taken from the Westmister Abbey website) shows the actual shrine.
Archbishop Vincent Nichols blessing the Corbels installed as part of the Centenary Celebrations on 17 October 2010.
SENIOR PARISHONERS’ TEA PARTY SEPTEMBER 2010
An memorable afternoon was had by all!
HOLY LAND PILGRIMAGE 2010
Our Parish Group at Bethlehem in April
Midnight Mass 2009 – Bishop George Stack blessing a wreath in memory of Fr. Bendon
The article below is published by kind permission of “The Universe” and appeared in the Christmas 2009 Edition.
Parish kicks off celebrations for centenary of its foundation
It’s A little known fact that St Edward the Confessor, who was canonised in 1161, was the patron saint of England before the prestigious honour went to St George.
St Edward the Confessor, the son of King Etheldred the Unready, was born in 1003, near Oxford. He was King of England from 1042 up until his death, aged 63, in 1066 – the same year as the Battle of Hastings. Indeed, it was his death that kick-started the chain of events that ended with William’s invasion.
Edward was canonised by Pope Alexander III in 1163 and is still regarded as the patron saint for those whose marriages are experiencing problems.
During his lifetime he formed a monastery dedicated to St Peter and it is believed that he had the power to heal the sick. After his death, many people would visit his shrine at Westminster Abbey and pray to St Edward and ask to be cured. His feast, on October 13, is commemorated by both Catholics and other religions.
The congregation at St Edward the Confessor Catholic Church in north London is in the middle of celebrating the parish’s centenary, the date for which fell on Christmas Day. The parish was dedicated to St Edward because the land on which the new Church was built was given by St Edward to the Benedictines for religious purposes when it was part of the parish of Hendon.
The 100th anniversary began with a Christmas Midnight Mass celebrated by Bishop George Stack, and this will be followed by a series ‘of other events throughout 2010, including a special parish Mass, celebrated by Archbishop Vincent Nichols, on Sunday, 17 October, close to St Edward’s feast day.
Other events planned include a parish pilgrimage to the Holy Land, an exhibition, a flower festival and an international evening.
Joan How, a parishioner for many years whose grandmother was one of the first parishioners, is preparing a special anniversary booklet for the centenary.
She says: “We are also proud that one of our parishioners, Andrew Connick, who is studying at Allen Hall Seminary in Chelsea, will be ordained a deacon in the centenary year. He is the latest in a line of vocations that have come from the parish over the years.”
The church stands on the busy Finchley Road in Golders Green, in the heart of London’s Jewish community. On one side is the Vast green expanse of Hampstead Heath and on the other is Hoop Lane Crematorium where the remains of the great and good are laid to rest.
Archbishop Vincent Nichols was a regular visitor when he was area bishop in north London and Cardinal Basil Hume visited the church shortly before he died at the nearby hospital of St John and St Elizabeth.
The church was built under the instruction of Fr William Bendon, who celebrated the first Mass at St Edward’s on Christmas Day 1909 .. He arrived in Golders Green in 1908 to be chaplain to the Carmelite nuns in Bridge Lane, near the church, and is buried in a grave next to the church.
He was a much-loved priest. Although he died comparatively young, at just 47 and spent his final years in a wheelchair, he was said to be a dynamic priest who achieved much during his short life.
The parishioners of the time erected a memorial stone above his grave, celebrating his work for the church and within the wider community.
Fr Bendon was assisted by Fr Herny: who spent his entire seven years as a priest at St Edward’s. He died even younger than Fr Bendon, aged just 33, one of the many victims of the 1918 flu epidemic.
Fr John Helm is the sixth parish priest to serve at St Edwards and he’s been there since 1984.
Joan says: “Fr John is a great guardian of the fabric of the Church. He has a wonderful rapport with the parishioners. He’s generous, kindly and a good listener and takes Communion to the sick and housebound every week”.
She adds: “I hope that in our centenary year the parish will grow in pastoral. cohesion and lead people to a better . relationship with God through the special liturgical celebrations that are taking place.
“The parish will also give thanks for the hard work of the early parishioners in fund raising and their generosity to the, parish, and remember the efforts of our six parish priests and all priests who have worked tirelessly .over the past century.”
Today, St Edward the Confessor’s is a thriving church. As well as its permanent congregation it attracts a large number of international visitors, drawn from the ranks of foreign language students who are living in the area while learning English .
.loan says: “The parish is also greatly blessed with a group of talented musicians and singers led by Mary Whittle, who play’s the viola and is a member of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Mary and the choir arrange concerts’ supporting many charities and causes.”
The church offers many sacramental programmes with, for example, Catechism classes for 150 children and a thriving Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults RCIA Group.
Joan adds: “We’re also very welcoming to new Catholics.”