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.