Monday, 28 May 2012
Cream cakes and song
It is often standing room only these days at St Patrick's Church, in inner city Leeds. I celebrated the Vigil and the Sunday morning Mass there this weekend. When I was a young priest St Patrick's was a massive church on the York Road, a symbol of the renaissance of the nineteenth century Catholic Church with the advent of Irish immigrants: that building - a short distance from the current one - still stands, but it is now used as a storage warehouse for the West Yorkshire Playhouse, I understand. Its closure as a church was sad but the atmosphere that I experienced today in its smaller replacement, a very modest building by comparison (though pleasing), is exciting. There were people there of all ages and from lots of different ethnic groups - and just about everybody sang! Moreover parish stalwart Ann Norman was celebrating her birthday and two other parish stalwarts, Patrick and Regina Stapleton, were celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary, so they forced me to eat cream cakes with them. Today especially I realised the truth of the dictum that the Church is the people within the building.