Summer 2019 saw major changes at Holy Rosary, Old Roan, which all began with the problem of how to clean the huge curtain that formed the backdrop to the sanctuary.
The parish council quickly concluded that the church needed a facelift, prompting discussions with the Archdiocesan art and architecture department and its surveyors. There then followed a parish open meeting in which two key decisions were taken:
• A Calvary sculpted by renowned artist Bainbridge Copnall and which had hung in St Hugh's, Wavertree, since the end of World War Two would be brought to Holy Rosary, upon a recommendation by Archdiocesan surveyor Kirk Williams.
• The Tabernacle would be moved from its semi-obscure position to the centre of the church; and a new Tabernacle from St Pius X, Widnes, would be used.
The reaction to the changes from parishioners has been very positive, with comments such as: ‘It is like coming to a new church’; ‘The church is alive again’; and ‘We have a worthy space in which to pray and celebrate’.
Moreover, to make the parish appear more welcoming, especially to families, a children’s chapel was created from part of the old baptistery. This is now a space where parents can take their children if they need ‘time out’ and which says loudly: ‘We want you here and you are welcome as part of our parish.’