WELCOME TO ST. MARY'S_ IPSWICH HOLY FAMILY _ ST. MICHAEL_ KESGRAVE by dfsdf224s

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									 WELCOME TO ST. MARY'S, IPSWICH
   HOLY FAMILY & ST. MICHAEL,
           KESGRAVE
       A guide to parish life




                Parish Clergy

Monsignor Peter Leeming, Canon Michael Hazell,
    Rev. Mr. Christopher Brighten (Deacon)

322, Woodbridge Road, Ipswich, Suffolk. 1P4 4BD

           Telephone 01473 728115
          email parish@st-mary.org.uk
          Eighth Edition — November 2007
SUNDAY MASSES
At St. Mary’s
9.00 a.m.        Sung Mass with children’s liturgy
10.30 a.m.       Sung Mass
6.00 p.m.
Polish Mass : 12 noon
At Holy Family & St. Michael, Kesgrave
6.00 p.m.    Anticipatory Mass on Saturday
9.15 a.m. on Sunday—Sung Mass with children’s liturgy
The church at Kesgrave is on Main Road, Kesgrave at the St. Michael’s roundabout.
MASSES HOLY DAY
At. St. Mary’s
9.15 a.m.   Sung Mass (and children from St. Mary’s
      School in term time)
7.30 p.m.   Sung Mass
Polish Mass : 12 noon
At Holy Family & St. Michael, Kesgrave
6.00 p.m.        Anticipatory Mass celebrated on the eve of the Holy Day
Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession)
At. St. Mary’s
Wednesday :        7.00 p.m.—7.20 p.m.
Saturday : after 9.30 a.m. Mass
Other times by appointment
At Holy Family
Saturday         5.15 p.m.—5.45 p.m.
the rest of his life to working for the Catholic community in Ipswich.

After settling his affairs in France, he returned to Ipswich and purchased a house
in what was then called Albion Hill, now the Woodbridge Road, with five acres of
land attached. Appropriate, it was near the site of the Convent of the Black
Friars at Cauldwell, destroyed after the Reformation, but more important, it was
near the temporary barracks still existing after the Napoleonic Wars, and from
the soldiers, many of them Irish and German, Pere Simon found a number of his
Flock.

The house, which still stands, is now used by the Sisters as a Convent. Pere Simon made
one room into a temporary chapel while he overcame the local objections to having a
Catholic Chapel built in Ipswich. Eventually his perseverance was rewarded and a small
chapel dedicated to St. Anthony was built next to the house. As you enter the parish hall,
which was converted from the old church, this original chapel ran from what is now the
Pere Simon Lounge, across the end of the hall and into the alcove opposite — the
transepts of the later church.

If you stand in the Woodbridge Road you can see the marks of the former entrance in
the wall of the Convent, now bricked up. It was discreetly hidden from the road by trees
so that people could slip into the church unobserved.

The Chapel was consecrated on 1st August, 1827 by Dr. T. Walsh, Vicar Apostolic,
and the Suffolk Chronicle records that “the novelty of the appearance of a Roman
Catholic Bishop at Mass brought a number of respectable individuals to attend
on this occasion”. At the same time free lessons for the poor were started on a Sunday
morning in reading, writing and catechism.

Pere Simon had a strong and attractive personality which helped him to establish
the first Catholic parish in the town, and he became a popular and respected
figure by everyone. He mastered written English but was never fluent in speaking it.

At Mass the Gospel was read in English, during the break after the Latin Gospel
and the notices by Mr. Salter Fox, a parishioner: the first lay reader at St. Mary's
over a hundred and fifty years before they were officially commissioned!

Within ten years the Chapel of St. Anthony proved too small, and after some opposition
Pere Simon was granted permission to enlarge the church north and south so that
the old chapel formed the transept to the new church which had a new nave of
76 feet long, opening directly off the Woodbridge Road. This church is now the
parish hall of St. Mary's. A contemporary description tells of a “fine model of
gothic architecture”! with a fine ceiling, organ and a beautiful painting of the Crucifixion
over the altar.

On 10th October, 1838 Dr. Walsh returned to bless the enlarged church, now dedicated to
Our Lady and called St. Mary's and during High Mass seventeen people were confirmed,
of whom five were converts. The Bishop took as his text "love one another" and part of his homily was directed to
"our dearly beloved Protestant brethren", an early sign of the ecumenical spirit reflected in St. Mary's today. The
Suffolk Chronicle reported that "Mozart's Grand Mass in C was performed by the choir in a very creditable style, its
strength being increased by a portion of the band of the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards.

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CHILD PROTECTION PARISH REPRESENTATIVE: The parish is committed to
following the Diocesan Child Protection Procedures. All who volunteer to work with
children and young people in the parish must complete the relevant procedures.
Contact: Roy Kitson (Tel: 214262)
ALTAR SERVERS: Open to adults, young adults and children who have made their
First Holy Communion. Training sessions are organised regularly. After training and
twelve months regular attendance, servers are enrolled in the Archconfraternity of St.
Stephen.
Contact: (St. Mary’s) Bryan Talbot (Tel. 726661)
         (Holy Family) Deacon Christopher Brighten (Tel. 625817)
BADMINTON CLUB: Meets in St. Mary’s Hall, Mondays 8.00 p.m. September-June.
Doubles and occasional tournaments arranged.
Anyone over the age of 16 very welcome.
Contact: Roger Clover (Tel. 410739)
BAPTISMAL PREPARATION PROGRAMME: For those
preparing for their first child’s Baptism, although any parents are
obviously welcome. This takes place about three times a year and consists of two
sessions. Details from the Parish Priest.
BROWNIES: The 16th Ipswich Brownies are organised on an inter-parish basis for girls
aged 7+ on Friday evenings 5:45p.m.-7:15p.m. in St. Mary’s Parish Hall.
Contact: Brown Owl-Evelyn Hewing (Tel. 728678)
BUILDING/FABRIC GROUP: Set up to oversee the care of the fabric of the three
church buildings, external areas and services. The group’s main tasks are to maintain
these buildings and facilities to a good standard, within financial constraints, and to
examine how they can be improved in line with the parish needs and resources.
Contact: Simon Meecham (Tel. 724471)
CATECHISM CLASSES: For children not attending Catholic schools are held on a
Saturday morning 9.00 a.m.-10.00 a.m. at St. Mary’s and on a Monday evening at Holy
Family.
Contact: (St. Mary’s) Debbie Corrigan (Tel. 232635)
           (Holy Family) Lesley Yeung (Tel. 620871)
CATHOLIC WOMEN’S LEAGUE: Represents Catholic women’s
interests on national and international bodies and promotes religious, educational and
social welfare. Our Lady’s Catechist section, Relief and Refugee Committee and
Summer Camps for children not attending Catholic schools are amongst its activities.
Contact: Rosaleen Foulger (Tel. 729791)
CHILDREN’S LITURGY: Children’s Liturgy of the word for 3-7 year olds is provided at
the 9.00 a.m. Mass at St. Mary’s and the 9.15 am Mass at Holy Family. After the
opening hymn and introduction the children make their way , with their leaders, to a
place where the Liturgy of the Word is celebrated. The group returns at the Offertory
Right . Parents are welcome to join the rota.
Contact: (St. Mary’s) Jacquie Knott (Tel. 410228)
           (Holy Family) Anna Beaumont (Tel. 610032)
CHOIR: Leads and supports the congregation at the 10.30 a.m. Sunday Mass each
week, and at the main celebrations of the Church’s liturgical year. The choir meets on
Wednesdays at 8.00 p.m. by arrangement and welcomes new musicians and singers.
Contact: Jan Southgate (Tel.01449 710477)

CUBS AND SCOUTS: The 12th Ipswich are the only Catholic Scout Group in the
deanery. The group welcome scouts from across the deanery and are based at St.
Mary’s.

Group Scout Leader: Laurence Bradley, ( Tel. 713349).
The group consists of
Beavers: 6-8 years, meet at St. Mary’s Hall Mondays 5.15-6.15 p.m.
Leaders: Mr. K. Gilson (Tel. 715256)
Cub Scouts: 8-10½ years, meet at St. Mary’s Hall Mondays 6.30-8.00 p.m. Leader: Mrs.
M. Southgate (Tel. 218629)
Scouts: Meet at St. Mary’s Hall on Wednesdays 7.00p.m.
Leader: Jeremy Mason (Tel. 274413)
GIFT AID: Tax payers should consider signing a Gift Aid to enable the Parish to reclaim
the tax which has been deducted from income prior to making offertory contributions.
The procedure is very simple.
Contact: Ian Parker (Tel. 729927)
FINANCE COMMITTEE: The Function of the finance committee is to provide support
for the Parish Priest to enable him to fulfil the extensive administrative obligations
imposed by Canons 1281-1288. The committee oversees parish finances and decides
priorities when reviewing projected expenditure to ensure that the parish resources are
utilised for maximum
benefit, and sound economic management is carefully maintained.
Contact: Roy Kelsey (Tel. 716038)
FOLK GROUP: Meet in the church on Monday evenings
7.30-9.00 p.m., singing at either the 9.00 a.m. or 6.00 p.m. Masses. New musicians are
always welcome. We are very happy to sing at any special occasion on request.
Contact: Pat Chamberlain (Tel. 413838)
HOSPITAL CHAPLAIN: Rev. Adrian Gates of St. James Parish (726701) visits Heath
Road Hospital regularly, assisted by Deacon Clive Brooks and a lay ministry team. In an
emergency ask the nursing staff to contact the Chaplain. Fr. Gates also visits St.
Elizabeth’s Hospice, St. Clements and Nuffield Hospital on Foxhall Road.
JOURNEY OF FAITH: A series of talks and discussions which run from September to
Pentecost and is especially designed for those who are thinking of becoming a Catholic.
However, it is also open to those who are already Catholics, but would like to deepen
their understanding of the Church and its beliefs.
Contact: Fr. Peter
KNIGHTS OF ST. COLUMBA: Ipswich Deanery Council, not attached to any one
parish. It is an organised body of Catholic men whose main aim is to participate in the
lay Apostolate. Council meetings are held once a month at St. James, Landseer Road.
Contact: Bryan Phillips (Tel. 720255)
LIFE GROUP: Offers of help to women and girls faced with abortion to show them an
alternative way. Volunteers of all ages needed in many ways: counselling, befriending,
fund-raising or publicising LIFE’s work or helping on the political front. Office open
Monday and Thursday 10.00-1.00 p.m.
Contact: LIFE HELPLINE 286866 HOTLINE 01926 311511
MUMS AND TOTS: Meet during term time in the parish hall, Wednesday 1.00-3.15 p.m.
and Thursday 9.30-11.15 a.m.
Contact: Sarah Brunning (Tel. 213325)
PARISH LIBRARY : Is situated in one of the rooms at the back of the church and
contains a good range of books for spiritual reading, theology and bible study. There are
also some tapes and videos. Open before and after daily Mass and the Sunday
Masses.
Contact: Vacancy
PASTORAL COUNCIL: Is composed of representatives of all the parish organisations
and elected members of the parish to promote parish life in all its aspects and to be a
channel of communication in the parish. The Council represents the parish on the
Deanery Forum and Diocesan Pastoral Council.
There are also regular Open Meetings held at Holy Family & St. Michael in Kesgrave.

Contact: Council Chairman c/o the Presbytery
POLISH COMMUNITY: Mass is celebrated in Polish on
Sundays and Holyday of Obligation at 12 noon and Monday, Wednesday,
Thursday and Friday at 10.00 a.m. Saturday Vigil at 7:15pm. The Polish prayer
group meets on Wednesdays at 7.00 p.m. Close ties are kept with the Church in
Poland with days of recollection and annual Lenten retreats being given by
visiting preachers from Poland. Various pastoral and social events are also
organised throughout the year.

Contact: Edward Chwastek
POLISH PRIEST: Contact Fr. Krzysztof Kita, 82 Wellesley Avenue, Ipswich, IP4 1PH
(Tel. 217391)
PRAYER GROUP: Meets every Wednesday at 9.00 p.m. in the Parish Library.

Contact: Mike & Marie-Madeleine Kenning (Tel: 01473 213087)
REPOSITORY & BOOKSHOP: Open after the Sunday morning Masses. We keep a
supply of crucifixes, rosaries, missals, Bibles, adult and children’s devotional books,
Mass cards and occasion cards, etc. Catalogues available for special orders on request.

Contact: June Burke c/o the Presbytery
SACRAMENTS: Preparation for the Sacraments of Reconciliation (Confession),
Eucharist and Confirmation take place through the parish community, involving family,
schools and catechism classes.

Contact for all the Sacraments: Fr. Peter
SCHOOLS: The Ipswich area offers a complete 4-19 Catholic education in the
maintained sector.

St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Woodbridge Road is the local Catholic primary
school for children aged 4-11 years.

Contact: Headteacher (Tel. 728372)

There are a further two Catholic Primary Schools in Ipswich;
St. Pancras Catholic Primary School, Stratford Road (tel. 742074), and
St. Mark’s Catholic Primary School, Stonelodge Lane West (tel. 601748).

St. Alban’s Catholic High School, Digby Road is a Comprehensive school with a Sixth
Form for children and young people aged 11-19 years.

Contact: Headteacher (Tel. 726178)
SISTERS OF JESUS AND MARY: Arrived from Lyons in the parish of St. Mary’s in
1860 (see the Story of St. Mary’s in this booklet). From their pioneering work came the
foundations of the schools in the parish and their involvement in catechetics. The
Sisters are an important part of parish life, visiting in the parish, helping with preparation
for the Sacraments and being involved in parish activities, by their presence giving
witness
“that the world cannot be transformed and offered to God without the spirit of the
Beatitudes”.

Contact: The Convent (Tel. 713162)
TRANSPORT: Can be provided to and from Mass and other parish events, both
liturgical and social.

Contact: Margaret Edmondson (Tel. 612841)
WALSINGHAM ASSOCIATION: Aims to foster devotion to Our Lady of Walsingham
and pilgrimages to the shrine, to pray for family life and raise funds for the maintenance
and development of the shrine.

Contact: Peter Hardy (Tel. 716865)
                    OTHER CATHOLIC CHURCHES IN IPSWICH

St. James                          St. Mary Magdalen
Landseer Road                      Norwich Road
Ipswich                            Ipswich
Tel. 726701                 Tel. 741975

St. Mark’s                         St. Pancras
Hawthorn Drive                     Orwell Place
Ipswich                            Ipswich
Tel. 684963                 Tel. 252596
                             THE STORY OF ST. MARY’S

Looking at the modern church of St. Mary’s built in 1960, you might well think that this is
a new parish which grew out of an expanding town population: but in fact you are
standing near the oldest Catholic church in Ipswich since the
Reformation.

It was founded by an émigré French Priest, Abbe Louis Pierre Simon, who escaped
from the persecutions of the French Revolution and arrived in Ipswich in 1793 to teach.
During that time he was befriended by a Catholic woman, Miss Margaret Wood who
lived with her widowed sister-in-law and niece in Silent Street.

Delighted to meet a Catholic Priest she offered him lodgings in her house and a room to
say Mass. It was probably in Silent Street or in her subsequent house in Carr Street,
opposite the end of Cox Lane, that Mass was celebrated regularly in the town for the
first time since the Reformation. Glyde, an Ipswich historian living at the time records
that “Much ill-feeling existed in the minds of a large proportion of the people towards
their Catholic brethren and worship had to be performed in as secret a manner as
possible to prevent annoyance”. Nevertheless Pere Simon succeeded in gathering all
the local Catholics into one “fold” by his faithful pastoral work, and after the French wars
were over he decided to devote the rest of his life to working for the Catholic community
in Ipswich.
PARISH ORGANISATIONS AND ACTIVITIES

These are arranged in alphabetical order, with a very brief summary of what each group
does, and a name and telephone number to contact for further information.
After settling his affairs in France he returned to Ipswich and purchased a house in what
was then called Albion Hill, now the Woodbridge Road, with five acres of land attached.
Appropriately, it was near the site of the Convent of the Black Friars at Cauldwell,
destroyed after the Reformation, but more importantly, it was near the temporary
barracks still existing after the Napoleonic Wars, and from the soldiers, many of them
Irish or German, Pere Simon found a number of his flock.
The house, which still stands, is now used by the sisters as a Convent. Pere Simon
made one room into a temporary chapel while he overcame the local objections to
having a Catholic Chapel built in Ipswich. Eventually his perseverance was rewarded
and a small chapel dedicated to St. Anthony was
built next to the house. As you enter the parish hall, which was converted from the old
church, this original chapel ran from what is now the Pere Simon Lounge, across the
end of the hall and into the alcove opposite—the transepts of the later church.
If you stand in the Woodbridge Road you can see the marks of the former entrance in
the wall of the Convent, now bricked up. It was discreetly hidden from the road by trees
so that people could slip into the church unobserved.
The Chapel was consecrated on 1st August, 1827 by Dr. T. Walsh, Vicar Apostolic, and
the Suffolk Chronicle records that “the novelty of the appearance of a Roman Catholic
Bishop at Mass brought a number of respectable individuals to attend on this occasion”.
At the same time, free lessons for the poor were started on a Sunday morning in
reading, writing
and catechism.
Pere Simon had a strong and attractive personality which helped him establish the first
Catholic parish in the town, and he became a popular and respected figure by
everyone. He mastered written English but was never fluent in speaking it.
At Mass, the Gospel was read in English, during the break after the Latin Gospel and
the notices by Mr. Salter Fox, a parishioner: the first lay reader at St. Mary’s over a
hundred and fifty years before they were officially commissioned!
L’ARCHE PROJECT:We now have a new’Arche communityand runningIpswich, at 3
Warrington Road, Ipswich IP1 3QU. Founded on Christian principles, L’Arche
communities are places where people with learning disabilities live together with
assistants as friends in ordinary houses, with choice in and access to work, therapy and
social resources.this new venture has been a great undertaking, not least in raising
project funds of £750,000 to purchase and convert the living accommodation.’Arche
already has eight established communities in England, Scotland and Wales. To find out
more about L'Arche Ipswich, visit www.larcheipswich.org.uk orcontact: Stephen Serpell
(Tel. 724336 orstephen.serpell@btinternet.com)
PARISH VISITORS. A group of men and women who make regular visits to
parishioners in their homes; they visit the elderly, the sick and the bereaved. There are
also plans to visit new parishioners. If you would like to join the group or receive a visit
then contact the coordinator.

Group Co-ordinator: Margaret Edmondson (Tel. 612841)
PRE-SCHOOL PLAYGROUP: Registered for children from 21/2 years to statutory
school age, with 16 children per session. It meets in the parish hall Mon, Tues, Wed &
Fri 9:15-11:45 and Mon & Fri 12:45-3:15.

Contact: Play leader (Tel. 0780 8119560 )
FLOWER ARRANGERS: There is a team of volunteers who arrange flowers for the two
churches.
Contact: (St. Mary’s) Irene Geisel (Tel.785715)
             (Holy Family) Lesley Yeung (Tel. 620871)
Within ten years, the Chapel of St. Anthony proved too small, and after some
opposition, Pere Simon was granted permission to enlarge the church north and south
so that the old chapel formed the transept to the new church which had a new nave of
76 feet long, opening directly off the Woodbridge Road. This church is now the parish
hall of St. Mary’s. A contemporary description tells of a “fine model of gothic
architecture”! with a fine ceiling, organ and a beautiful painting of the Crucifixion over
the altar.
On 10th October, 1838, Dr. Walsh returned to bless the enlarged church, now dedicated
to Our Lady and called St. Mary’s and during High Mass, seventeen people were
confirmed, of whom five were converts. The Bishop took as his text “love one another”
and part of his homily was directed to “our dearly beloved Protestant brethren”, an early
sign of the ecumenical spirit reflected in St. Mary’s today. The Suffolk Chronicle
reported that “Mozart’s Grand Mass in C was performed by the choir in a very creditable
style, its strength being increased by a portion of the band of the 4th Royal Irish
Dragoon Guards”. The writer suggests that the church was only half full, partly because
of the entrance fee of half a crown(!) but also because of the stern denunciations
against Popery from some of the pulpits of the parish churches in the town.
Less than a year later, Pere Simon died, and the church of St. Mary’s was then served
by Priests from Stoke by Nayland and Bury St. Edmunds. In 1854, Father Kemp settled
in Ipswich from Stoke by Nayland and at this point the church was still owned by Miss
Mary Wood, niece of the Miss Wood who had befriended Abbe Simon: but was now
conveyed to the Bishop and Trustees. Pere Simon and Margaret Wood are
remembered by plaques in the parish hall of St. Mary’s, which was once the church they
founded.
In 1861 St. Pancras Church was built in the centre of the town and until 1919 both
parishes were administered jointly. Father Kemp, when he retired, handed over to his
friend, Father Wallace, in 1869. A slightly eccentric character he once finished a sermon
and asked for three cheers for the Pope, and often walked from Ipswich to Woodbridge
to say Mass. In the 1870s he went off to the Ashanti Wars as chaplain to the convent.
1860 was an important year for St. Mary’s, for it witnessed the arrival of the first Sisters
of Jesus and Mary from France, as a result of a request from Dr. Amherst, the Bishop of
Northampton. The church was very poor at that time and the nuns took over the
cleaning and sewed some much needed altar linen. In 1861 they started an orphanage,
and later despite financial and educational obstacles they launched an elementary
school and a boarding school which grew rapidly and were the strong foundations for
Catholic education in this area. Emily Bray House for the elderly now stands on the site
of the Elementary School which was founded by Mother St. Clare, who was born as
Emily Bray.
In 1862 religious bigotry in the town erupted in a riot, led by a man named Baron de
Gaume. A fanatical mob rampaged through the town on a November night until it
arrived at the Convent. Unable to storm the door, the mob then threw stones all night,
breaking every window and at one point narrowly missing Mother Superior’s head. The
Blessed Sacrament was brought into the Convent for safety and throughout this
terrifying night the Sisters prayed and kept a vigil.
The following morning, the Civil Authorities were shocked. A Magistrate and his wife
visited the Convent to express their sympathy and the newspapers roundly condemned
the riots as a disgrace to a civilised society. By March, 1867, Father Kemp was cheered
by crowds as he and school boarders watched the town’s loyal procession to celebrate
the marriage of the Prince of Wales.
In 1919, Bishop Keating decided to separate the two parishes of St. Pancras and St.
Mary’s and he appointed Father McCaul, then curate of St. Pancras, to be the first
Parish Priest of St. Mary’s.
During the First World War when fears of invasion were strong, the Convent School was
prepared for the wounded, and a large room offered to the RAMC soldiers quartered
nearby for recreation and relaxation. Between the two World Wars, the Sisters acquired
Holmewood to extend the facilities of the school. The long wooded drive leading to the
house along which parishioners once drove and parked their cars gave St. Mary’s a
peaceful rural atmosphere.
The school moved in July 1996 and has been amalgamated with St. Joseph’s School in
Birkfield Drive. The school buildings have been demolished and houses built on the site
and in the grounds and Holmewood has been converted into flats. The surroundings of
the church now have an orderly, urban air about them although the old trees still give a
pleasant, leafy background. The grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, built as a present from
former pupils of the school, has been dismantled and the statue stands in the garden of
the Convent in Felixstowe. The Sisters of Jesus and Mary remain in Pere Simon’s
house, their first English Convent, and contribute to parish life in many ways.
By the 1970s, the Catholic Church in East Anglia had expanded so that in 1976 the new
Diocese of East Anglia was created. St. Mary’s parish reflected that growth: in the same
year the parish
acquired the beautiful Convent church built in 1960. It was designed by Suffolk
Architects Purcell and Johnson and reflects its dual purpose: as a conventual chapel
with the nun’s stalls ranging along the sides, and as a school chapel with a wide central
space for a congregation. It has adapted easily to use as a parish church.
As you look around the church you will notice the striking effect of the different woods
used: the stalls and panelling are of an African timber called Afromosia, with panels
faced in English sycamore. The floor is of African mahogany, slightly toned to bring it
into harmony with the Afromosia.
In the Sanctuary four different stones have been used. The altar is of Ashburton marble
from Devon and the pilasters behind the altar and the frieze are in rose and white
alabaster from Derbyshire. Portland stone has been used for the Sanctuary floor with
the skirting in grey Italian marble.
The organ is a good example of the work of Arnold, Williamson and Hyatt, of Norfolk.
For our millennium project the organ was expanded by Bowes and Company of
Norwich. A second manual, which was possibly planned as part of the original design,
has now been added and four extra ranks of pipes. The existing console which was
crafted and matched to the church surroundings has been retained and altered to carry
the extra keyboard and stops. New case fronts have been made to the organ gallery
The Stations of the Cross, the statues of Our Lady and St. Joseph and the beautiful Crib
figures which appear at Christmas time, are all hand carved. The link with the old
church has been kept with the large Crucifix behind the altar and some of the pews. The
old church has been converted into the parish hall, busy with activities most days of the
week.
In 1988 the porch area was extended, with a large repository, toilet facilities and with a
glazed wall into the church so that while the microphones are used during Mass it
provides a useful area for small children and adults who need to withdraw from the
church for any reason.
The stained glass window over the door was designed by Jim Budd of Hertford. St.
Mary’s parish also serves the people of Kesgrave with the Church of the Holy Family
and St. Michael. It was built in 1931 by Mrs. Dod Rope in memory of her husband
Michael who was killed in the R101 airship disaster.
PARISH MATTERS: A monthly publication about parish life. Contributions are always
welcome.

Contact: Mike Irwin (Tel. 610078) or
          Caroline O’Donoghue (Tel.271415) or
          email parishmatters@st-mary.org.uk
               History of The Holy Family and St. Michael, Kesgrave

The church was built in 1931 in memory of Squadron Leader Michael Rope and the 47
others, including the Secretary of State of Air, who died with him in the wreck of HM
Airship R101 at Allonne near Beauvais on 5th October 1930. Michael Rope was born in
Shrewsbury in 1888. He graduated in engineering from Birmingham, in 1915-18 he
joined the Royal Naval Air Service working as an engineer and later transferred to the
RAF on its formation. During this time he obtained his pilot’s licence at Martlesham. He
returned to airship work in 1924, he was Assistant Chief Designer of the R101, built at
Cardington near Bedford.
The original church was designed by Messrs. Brown and Burgess, architects of Ipswich
and the builders were Messrs. William W.C. Reade of Aldeburgh. Work started in June
1931 and was completed by the beginning of December. On 7th December Canon
Peacock of St. Pancras, Ipswich, blessed the church. On the following day it was
officially opened as a “semi-public oratory” at a Mass celebrated by Father H. E. G.
Rope (Michael Rope’s brother). At this Mass Canon Moriarty, who was appointed
Bishop Shrewsbury in 1934, preached the sermon. At the time when the church was
built the population of Kesgrave was about 600 and the church was built to seat about
60 comfortably.
Kesgrave continued to grow in size and in the early 1950’s the population had reached
around 3000. The size of the church became inadequate so a small extension was built
immediately to the east of the original altar and raised the seating capacity to about 100
when the extension was completed in 1955. This extension was designed by H. Munro
Cautley, architect to the Diocese of St, Edmundsbury and Ipswich. The building work
was undertaken by a Kesgrave firm, S. Knights.
In 1991, when Kesgrave was expanding fast again a decision was taken to make a
more substantial addition to the church. Work on the major extension was started in
August 1992 and the bulk of the work was completed in May 1993, with the first Mass
being celebrated on Pentecost Sunday, 30th May. During these 9 months, a temporary
church was provided on the car park. The extension was designed by Mr. Terry Norton
of Wearing, Hastings and Norton of Norwich and the building work carried out by
Carlford Construction Ltd. assisted by a number of local sub-contractors. The extension
was essentially finalised on 28th September and was blessed by Bishop Alan Clark,
Bishop of East Anglia at a Mass on 5th October, the 63rd anniversary of the wreck of the
R101.
The general style of the original church is that of the 13th century. The extension has
tried whenever possible to “mirror” the original and the stone and brick piers either side
of the new main Altar. A particular feature of the new church is the “Galilee” separated
from the main body of the church by a glass screen, thus catering particularly for
families with very young children.
The artistic work in the church is centred round five main themes: -
    · Precursors of Christ – David and Isaiah, together with St. John the Baptist.
    · Saints of the 12th century.
    · The Holy Family, and also St. Michael, to whom the Church is dedicated.
    · The English martyrs.
    · Saints of the Carmelite Order.

WELCOMERS: Are a group of people who welcome everyone to Sunday Mass, helping
with tasks such as distributing and collecting hymn books. More are always needed to
help on a rota basis.

Contact: Paul Taylor (Tel: 690155)
PARISH HALL: The hall is available to parish organisations and individuals for
community and private functions. Care of the hall is overseen by a small group who
organise repairs and improvements as necessary.

Hall Care Contact: Alison Palmer (Tel: 631732)

Hall Bookings: Val Olsen (Tel: 216290)
The second millennium in 2000 saw more changes around the church. The old school
building that had adjoined the church was demolished in 2002, and the gable end of the
church was then restructured and completed in 2005. Ramps for the disabled which
were a legal requirement were also added and a flagpole erected as part of the newly
enlarged car park. Inside, two old school offices were transformed into a library and a
meeting room, the cleaning and decorating all done by parishioners. An extra car park,
built for St Mary’s school but available to parishioners on a Sunday, was built off the
main driveway, and paths and lights installed for pedestrians.
The surroundings of the church now have an orderly, urban air about them. St Mary’s
has become very much a town centre church, yet the lovely old trees along the drive
and the spacious layout maintain the pleasant leafy background that makes it so
special.
Anne Parry

								
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