TAUNTON CATHOLIC CHURCH  

One God, One Family, One Community

History 4

150th Anniversary continued:

 

After more than a year of detailed planning, the Centenary Celebrations and the hard but happy work began on 2nd January 2010 with a Families Party, followed in February by an Art Festival, and in March by a Multi-Cultural Choral Festival, displaying the talents of at least seven national groups.  From 23rd April, St. George’s Day until 30th April there were five major celebratory events in which a huge number of Parishioners were involved.

 

A week-end Flower Festival, with 30 beautiful and often soaring arrangements, some from other Taunton Churches, and dedicated to our various Saints, filled the Church with scent and colour.  The Festival was visited by many, and was a huge success as was the Organ Recital during the day.  A happy Fun Fair with a Dragon Slaying enactment was organised at St. George’s School.  An evening of Classical Music in the Church, allowed many Parishioners and guests to display their skills, and give pleasure to a large audience.

 

But the most magnificent and joyous event of all was the 150th Anniversary Mass led by Bishop Declan of Clifton.  The flowers were still in place, the Organist, Choirs and Music Group had been rehearsing, and a packed congregation, including the Lord Lieutenant, and the Mayor and Mayoress of Taunton Deane, were enthralled by the splendour and spirituality of a memorable Mass.

 

The Sanctuary was thronged with Clergy and Servers, while a number of other Christian Ministers were in the body of the Church.  They processed in style, and all present enjoyed a truly, celebratory spiritual Mass, at the end of which, Bishop Declan climbed up to the Western loft, and Blessed the new window.

 

There followed a Buffet in the Parish Centre, and Entertainment plus astonishing Anniversary Cakes, in the School.  The whole evening was brimming with happiness, and gave an opportunity for Canon John to thank all those involved in the entire Anniversary Celebrations.

 

To The Future

 

With a spiritually and financially healthy Parish, we remember and pray for all those who struggled so valiantly from the 18thC. to grow the Faith in Taunton and surrounding communities.  Without them, their leadership and their sacrifices, we would not have this thriving Parish today, with its splendid Churches and Schools.  The Catholic population of Taunton is some 5,000; St. George’s capacity is 350 and St. Teresa’s is 200.  These Churches and the earlier Chapel have witnessed many thousands of Baptisms, First Communions, Confirmations, Marriages and Funerals.

 

The Parish is well integrated into Taunton, with excellent civic and ecumenical relationships.  St. George’s pre-Reformation Anglican Church, not a mile away has a special link with us.  The Parish Team of Clergy, Religious and Laity working together, in a multi-cultural environment, with flourishing groups from Asia and Eastern Europe (we have a resident Polish Priest), look to the future with confidence, and pray that we may be worthy of what our forebears have provided for us.  

 

Brian Toomey April 2010

 

Pre-1990 details draw for the main part on Patrick Antony Storer’s History .