Hundreds from across the Dioceses of Salford and Lancaster turned out to attend the 50th Anniversary Mass at St Wilfrid’s in Longridge.
We were thrilled to welcome two special guests: Bishop Michael Campbell from Lancaster Diocese and Bishop Terence Brain from Salford Diocese, who concelebrated Mass along with Fr David Chinnery, the parish priest of St Wilfrid’s, and visiting priests Fr Joseph Duggan, Fr Steven Parkinson and Fr Robert Billing.
Despite the terrible weather on the Friday, the event went ahead with some last-minute alterations. Fr David of St Wilfrid’s very kindly allowed the use of the parish hall and church grounds for a celebratory lunch and the church for some CAFOD speakers. Our usual venue of Lee House at Thornley near Chipping was a little water-logged and car-parking would have become a little tricky in the mud!
The uplifting celebratory Mass had some terrific musical accompaniment with cantors Katie and Samantha, Year 6 pupils from St Francis’ Catholic Primary School in Goosnargh. Musicians from the parish were joined by musicians from Cardinal Newman College in Preston and St Cecilia’s Catholic High School in Longridge. The children of St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Chipping had written and presented beautifully the prayers of intercession. During Mass some children of St Wilfrid’s Catholic Primary School brought some of their CAFOD inspired work to the altar accompanied by some older supporters who carried other symbols representing the work of CAFOD around the globe.
At the end of Mass Bishop Brain led a Prayer of Recommitment to energize CAFOD supporters in their vital work for their sisters and brothers in the developing world.
After Mass everybody was invited to enjoy a very tasty shared buffet lunch in the parish hall, where supporters had time to recharge their batteries and meet with friends old and new. A big thank you to Gertrude and Pat of St Wilfrid’s who generously helped organise the food and refreshments.
After lunch people then gathered back in church for a special CAFOD guest speaker, Clare Dixon, CAFOD’s Head of Latin America & Caribbean Section. Clare spoke very movingly of her work with CAFOD over the last 34 years, particularly in the Latin American region.
After Clare, we had the pleasure of listening to two inspiring young ladies, Emma and Amy, two CAFOD “Gappers” from the Dioceses of Lancaster and Salford respectively. Emma and Amy spoke about their experiences of visiting Ghana last year for four weeks and then their subsequent volunteering at St Mary’s Catholic Sports College in Blackpool for Emma and with Just Youth in Salford for Amy.
After the talks everybody returned to the parish hall for a very special 50th Anniversary cutting of the cake.
Anne Marie Coppock, CAFOD Salford Diocesan Manager, cut the cake with her diocesan colleagues. Anne Marie had the pleasure as she is sadly shortly to retire, after more than 25 years of inspiring work with CAFOD.
The delicious chocolate cake was then shared out among the supporters and washed down with some more tea or coffee.
A terrific and happy day was had by all – a fitting way to mark the tremendous difference you have made to our sisters and brothers overseas through your support of CAFOD. Huge thanks to all for making the day so special.