St Albert the Great's new church hall opened by Archbishop

By Father David Potter

Last year, during a conversation with an elderly priest, I mentioned our parish social club at St Albert the Great, Stockbridge Village. His reply was, ‘I thought all those places were on wheels.’ I must have looked puzzled, because he then explained, ‘that means they do very well and make a lot of money’. Sadly, it is no longer true that all parish licensed premises are ‘on wheels’ in this way. Many struggle, and some eventually become unsustainable.

This was the case with our club, which finally closed on 19 November 2018. But the building remained, so what were we going to do with it? After much reflection it was decided to reopen it as a church hall which would cater for a range of parish events and also be available for hire by a local dance school and other groups.

We were blessed to have Archbishop Malcolm with us for the sacrament of Confirmation on the Feast of St Joseph, and he kindly stayed on afterwards to bless and open the church hall. It was a joy to see many younger families in the parish embracing this fresh start; that surely bodes well for the future. As does the prayer to God our Father by which the Archbishop introduced this new phase in the life of the parish:

'Through the gift of your eternal wisdom, grant that the undertaking we begin today for your glory and our own well-being may progress day by day to its successful completion.’