Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Latin mass worshippers 'thrown out'

~from Lancashire Evening Post (hat tip to Cathcon)
A group behind a Latin mass held at an under-threat Catholic church in Preston claim they have been thrown out.

The organisers held the traditional mass at St Walburge's Church, in Pedder Street, Ashton, for three weeks – attracting more than 400 people to the church and boosting flagging attendances which had led to the famous building being named as one of 10 churches across the city threatened with closure.

But the group says that the church has now stopped them holding the weekly services and on offering them once-a-month mass, forcing them to move to St Mary Magdalen's Church in Penwortham.

However, parish priest Fr Paul Swarbrick insists that the problem came from a change in arrangements for the service while he was away on holiday.

Jim Aherne, who organised the Latin mass, said: "We must have raised £700 for the church in less than a month and there were people who were willing to throw money at the church at a time when it needs its people most.

"It has upset a lot of people who simply do not know what they have done wrong. A monthly service is no use to us, we are committed to our faith and need to celebrate it every week."

...Now Fr Swarbrick has said he was happy that the group had found a permanent home in Penwortham and believed the "stability" of weekly services would be good for them.

He said: "It is a beginning, which can always be a bit delicate, which is why I asked to take it a month at a time and I was more than happy for that to continue, until I learned of the change.

"I think the group needs stability and if they can find that at St Mary Magdalen's, I wish them well."

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