Past Events

Syro Malabar Catholic Church, Gloucester Celebrate the Feast of Saint Thomas at Saint Augustine’s of Canterburyon 3rd July 2016


The Syro Malabar Catholic Church Gloucester which comes together for catechises and to celebrate Mass in their Eastern Rite twice a month at St Augustine’s of Canterbury truly celebrated the Principal Saints of India Mary, Thomas and Alphonsa on Sunday 3rd July 2016.


Preparations outside the Church started on Friday and by Sunday 3rd July it was transformed with elephants and bunting.




The afternoon celebrations began with Father Gerry Walsh PP wearing Syro Malabar robes raising and blessing the flag at the front of the Church.  




He then along with assembled drummers welcomed Bishop Dr. Simon Kaipuram CM who is from Balasore Diocese, Orisa, India who was the principal celebrant at a packed Mass in the Church. The other concelebrating priests of the Syro Malabar Rite Mass were Rev. Fr. Paul Vettikattu CST based at Fishponds Bristol and the Rev. Fr. Zakharias Kanjooparampil CssR – all of them have bi-ritual faculties meaning the celebrate mass in either the Latin Rite or the Syro Malabar Rite. Fr Gerry was also on the sanctuary.

 




The Church was full of Indians principally from Kerla belonging to the Syro Malabar Rite many dressed in traditional colourful clothing  



Fr Gerry blessed the Children giving them a lighted candle before Mass began and also helped distribute Holy Communion.
The choir who were located in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel led the singing of Psalms and the responses during the Mass.



The Gospel for the Mass recalled the famous occasion when Saint Thomas one of the twelve apostles was not present in the upper room that first Easter Sunday when Jesus appeared to the other apostles and then saying he would not believe in the Jesus’ resurrection unless he could place his hands in Jesus’ wounds. Eight days later doubting Thomas was able to do just that when Jesus appeared again. ‘Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.’ Jesus says.
After the Mass there was a very colourful procession from outside the Church with the drums once again playing to the rose garden off Matson Lane. Four statues Mary, Joseph, Thomas and Alphonsa were carried in the procession along with the Syro Malabar Cross which had been on the altar during Mass.

 




Following the procession a litany was led inside the Church and then all present enjoyed traditional Indian food from either the outside stalls or in the Hall.
The afternoon was blessed with fine weather and everyone who participated including Fr Gerry for whom this was his first ever Syro Malabar rite Mass a fitting celebration.  

For plenty more pictures of the event look at  https://picasaweb.google.com/115441565452668919147/6303616727371012449

 

Induction of Fr Gerry Walsh as Parish Priest of  Saint Augustine’s of Canterbury Matson and English Martyrs Tuffley Feast of St John Fisher, Bishop and St Thomas More, Martyrs 22nd June 2016


Fr Gerry was appointed Parish Priest of St Augustine of Canterbury, Matson and English Martyrs, Tuffley by Bishop Declan in his letter of appointment dated 1st January 2016. He began his ministry 3 days later on 4th January whilst still living at St Peter’s where he had been Assistant Priest for the last couple of years.

Teams from both Parishes began work almost immediately to redecorate the Presbytery at St Augustine’s to make it a home. Fr Gerry was able to move in on Monday 14th March.

Just over 3 months later after careful preparation with representatives from both parishes and some of Fr Gerry’s family and friends his Induction Mass was celebrated St Augustine’s of Canterbury Church which had been adorned with beautifully arranged flowers. Gathered in the full church were parishioners, former parishioners from where Fr Gerry has also be based St Peter’s Gloucester, St Joseph’s Portishead and Holy Rood Swindon as well as some of Fr Gerry’s family and friends. The date chosen also marked the 20th Anniversary of Fr Gerry’s ordination to the Priesthood at St John the Baptist Trowbridge by Bishop Mervyn Alexander.

A large poster size picture of the reredos from English Martyrs Church with the two principal English martyrs John Fisher and Thomas More being on either side with their coats of arms was placed under the altar, the large processional cross from English Martyrs was also used as was a ciborium and a chalice.

The music led by a friend of Fr Gerry Tony Wadley was coordinated by Moira Pratt and drew musicians form both parishes. Throughout this was spiritually uplifting and inspiring.

The readings were read clearly by Carol Cooper from St Augustine’s Fr Gerry’s mum Fleur and the Prayers of the Faithful were read by Flit Rodgers from English Martyrs.     

Mgr Liam Slattery VG gave an inspiring homily managing to reflect on the readings despite the challenge of the first reading for the feast being about whether or not to pretend to eat pigs flesh and the resulting consequences.

 

Click here to read the homily from Mgr Liam Slattery

 

The Induction was carried out by the Dean of Gloucester, Fr Barnabas Page VF who using the 2009 rite of induction took Fr Gerry through the sacraments and other responsibilities he has as Parish Priest. His response to each station of induction was ‘I will with the Help of God.’ At each station the people of the parishes were also addressed they responded ‘We will with the Help of God’. For further details click here for the order of service/click on icon to left.

After completing the rite of Induction Fr Gerry took over from the Dean as principal celebrate and immediately pledged to work with Ecumenical colleagues and representatives from both Parishes who were present for the Mass of Induction.

After Holy Communion Fr Gerry gave a few words at the end which he briefly reflected upon ‘Please, Thank You, Sorry, Unworthy Servant, Together, God Bless.’ For his comments click here/click on icon to the left.    

After the Mass refreshments prepared by teams from both parishes and a fruit cake made especially for the occasion by Kathy Harkin were thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Throughout the Mass of Induction and at the reception Tony Sharpe was taking photos which can be viewed and ordered here.

The next weekend Fr Gerry expressed his sincere thanks during the Sunday homily to all who had given so generously of their time for a spirit filled beautiful induction celebration.

 

Click here to read a copy of what Fr Gerry said during the Induction Mass

 

Click here to see a copy of the booklet produced for the Induction Mass

 

Despite the British weather, the Parish Summer Fayre was a great success, went very well and fun was had by all!

 

 

If you have any other pictures of the event, please send them in.

 

 

Saturday December 13th 2014 was truly a Day to Remember,- the day that a few years ago many of us at English Martyrs thought would remain only a dream,-the day when we would sit down together to enjoy a celebratory meal in our own, new Parish Hall.

Thanks to a small band of optimists the seed of hope was sown and fund-raising took off, ranging from individual efforts such as young Benjamin O’Driscoll’s £300 from sponsorship money for taking part in a Junior Triathlon and guitar concerts arranged through the late Pat Griffin’s daughter, to the organising of Parish efforts such as the August ‘Great Community Canal-Side Crawl’ sponsored walk.

One of the things that made the celebratory meal so sweet was the knowledge that the beautiful, elegant room in which we were sitting was the product of so many members of the Parish working together, contributing whatever talents, skills, time and muscle they had towards the planning, organising and carrying out of the actual work that did not have to be contracted out.

Many of us could not resist inspecting progress as the building took shape. Was it on schedule? Would it be ready for Christmas? Well, it was!! And to prove it, there we were enjoying a delicious meal served from the brand new, spacious, purpose-built kitchen. Then came the sing-along, with us all joining in the well-loved traditional English songs, with a couple of Irish ones for good measure, with whole-hearted enthusiasm.

A Very Big Thank You to those who organised the Celebration. I could not help thinking that that evening reflected admirably the spirit that has animated the efforts of the whole Parish over the last few years and which has brought us all closer together.

 

 

The Parish embarked on a sponsored walk, with a difference .... a ten mile walk along Gloucester and Sharpness Canal.

The walk started in Saul and proceeded along the canal towards Gloucester, picking up parishioners and friends along the way the the group gently moved along.

Much fun was had by all and the day ended with a very good BBQ at English Martyrs church.

 

 

If you have any more pictures of the event, please send them in.