Father Simon Henry has good news about the development of Bishop Mark Davies’ plans for the beautiful church of Ss Peter and Paul on the Wirral. The church was closed in 2008 because it was deemed too large and expensive for its small congregation:
I visited Ss Peter and Paul’s church in New Brighton on the Wirral today to say welcome to Fr Olivier Meney of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, who has just moved in there this week. It is, I think, the first personal parish in this country. The Institute were invited in by Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury after the church had been closed by the previous bishop. A campaign by local people, both Catholics and others, voiced a clear desire to keep the church open and active. It has a personal connection for me, as I made my first Holy Communion there. As you can see from the photo above the church dominates the skyline in New Brighton and although it is in need of much work inside, having been damaged by water ingress, the sanctuary and fittings are all in tact and as a liturgical space is more than fitting for either form of the Roman Rite.
Fr Olivier hails from France originally but has been working in the USA. I received a very friendly welcome and I think he will make a good impression on the good folk of New Brighton and of the Shrewsbury Diocese. I understand that part of the plan is to make Ss Peter and Paul’s a centre of Eucharistic devotion and adoration.
I think that most of the dioceses in the UK have some representation from the “new movements” in the Church who are growing and attracting vocations as part of the”New Evangelisation” that the Holy Father is encouraging. These are many and varied but all of them characterised by an orthodox outlook – linked very often to a strong Eucharistic devotion and loyalty to the Magisterium of the Church. I say ‘most of the dioceses in this country’ but sadly, I’m not aware of any here in my own Archdiocese of Liverpool…