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Halesworth worshippers' joy at Bishop's blessing

PUBLISHED: 08:30 18 September 2016

The Right Rev'd Alan Hopes, Bishop of East Anglia at the blessing of a new sacristy and church meeting room at St Edmund, King and Martyr, Halesworth.

PHOTO: Nick Butcher

The Right Rev'd Alan Hopes, Bishop of East Anglia at the blessing of a new sacristy and church meeting room at St Edmund, King and Martyr, Halesworth. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

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Worshippers gathered to see the extension they fundraised to build be blessed by the Bishop of East Anglia.

St Edmund King and Martyr Catholic Church in Halesworth was consecrated in 1953, and a fundraising campaign to improve it has been running for the last 20 years.

It enabled the church to install a new coffee and meeting room, which was blessed by the Rt Rev Alan Hopes in a service on Wednesday in front of a congregation of about 100.

Worshippers present at the blessing and special mass included Simone Walker, Maureen Murphy and Peggy Brett who, 20 years ago, first had the idea of improvements and started to raise money with coffee mornings, jumble sales and bring and buy meetings.

Bishop Alan told the congregation: “You have had the courage and strength to bring about the new building – a courage which speaks of faith in the future of the local Catholic community here.

“You are the living stones of the church and you lift up the cross and our crucified Saviour every time you are seen to be a welcoming community for all those who come through these doors – serving those in need, nourishing those who seek faith and reconciliation and constantly building up yourselves in unity and love.”

Town council chairman and member of the congregation Anne Fleming said: “In the spring of 2014 the plan took shape when Father Roger De Lacy-Spencer gave the go-ahead to improve the church.

“We now have a new coffee room, a new disabled toilet, a new sacristy and a better entrance to the church.

“Nearly £70,000 was raised through efforts of the parishioners and charities.

“Large donations were received from Viridor and the Rope Trust, through the efforts particularly of Sally Cockrell and Jonathan Strange of the finance committee.”

Do you have a story or event from Halesworth? Email the details to bbj.news@archant.co.uk or call 01502 712502 to speak to a reporter.

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