Sacred Heart & Holy Family RC Church

 & Parish Centre

Kingsway, Rochdale. OL16 5BXTel: 01706 645603

Parish Priest:Canon Michael Buckley. Assistant Priest: Fr. Kevin Murphy



The Sacred Heart Parish - a Brief History




A meeting of the newly formed Milnrow & Newhey Catholic Association was held on February 22nd 1937.  At that meeting it was decided to use the room at Milnrow Reform Club as a Chapel of Ease.  The first Mass was celebrated on April 11th 1937. by Father Paddy Watterson, then a curate at St. John's in Rochdale.



Later, Father Tom Brady, another curate at St. John's, acquired Bank House, 309, Milnrow Road, which is still there.  This became a temporary Church, opened by Bishop Marshall on Sunday 13th June 1948



In May 1951 Father Michael Flynn succeeded Father Brady.  The temporary church now had three Masses each Sunday


Fr. Brady


Bank House


On 31st July 1956 the foundation stone of the new church of the Sacred Heart, Newbold, Rochdale was laid by Bishop Beck.


On 29th September 1957 he blessed and opened the new church.  The cost of the building - Church and Priests' House, including furnishings was £50,000.



A sung Mass - Missa Cantata - celebrated by Father Flynn, was televised by the B.B.C. on Sunday 28th December 1958.  The preacher was Bishop Beck and the commentary was given by Father Patrick McEnroe assisted by Father Agnellus Andrew O.F.M.  The Mission of the Sacred Heart was canonically instituted as a Parish in February 1958, and Father Michael Flynn was inducted as the First Parish Priest by Provost Kelly, Rural Dean and parish priest of St. John's.







Children in the Parish of the Sacred Heart, to prevent leakage, were conveyed to and from St. John's and St. Patrick's by a Parish Bus from 1952. For many years Father Flynn drove this bus himself.



Father Brian Nightingale, from Newhey, was ordained priest at St. John's Cathedral. Salford, on 27th May 1961 for the Northampton Diocese.  He celebrated his first Mass at the Sacred Heart on Trinity Sunday 28th May, assisted by Father Michael Flynn.

In September 1961 a new school for the Sacred Heart Parish was opened on Kingsway.  As the numbers grew, two temporary classrooms were bought from St. Mary's, Denton costing £5,500.



The Sacrament of Confirmation was administered for the first time in the Sacred Heart Church by Bishop Hall ( from the Foreign Missions ) on 24th August 1964 to about 400 children and adults from different parishes in Rochdale, including the Sacred Heart.  



Between 1968 and 1985  Bishops Holland, Burke and Kelly visited the Parish and administered Confirmation. Parish Missions took place regularly over the years.



Transport to school  for children from Newhey and Milnrow was provided by the Parish until 1970, when the local authority commenced to provide it.



The roof of the Church and house was refelted in 1980.  In 1984 it was announced that the Parish was free from debt with the selling of land to St. Vincent's Housing Association.  Beautifully designed flats were built on the land adjacent to the Church, where garages had previously stood.




On February 11th 1988, Canon Michael Flynn - as he was by then - retired to his native Waterford. 

On the 11th March 1988, Father David O' Kane was inducted as the Second Parish Priest of the Sacred Heart.

Over the next few months the presbytery was refurbished.

20th June 1988 - the tower and linking corridor were demolished by Connell and Finnigan.  A spot- lit crucifix was place over the front door of the Church.


Fr. O'Kane


Lent 1989 - a Parish Mission was given by Father Tom Molloy C.S.S.R.

21st - 23rd April  1989 The Visitation by Bishop Patrick Kelly was postponed due to the death of his mother

2nd - 5th May - Parish Pilgrimage to Lourdes.

8th - 9th July - Bishop Kelly's postponed visit took place.

During 1989 changes were taking place in the Schools.  

Sacred Heart School accepted a new classroom for Junior IV and the amalgamation of St. Joseph's, St. Wilfrid's and Bishop Henshaw into St. Cuthbert's High School took place. The Parish School assessment  is £5,348 each year.



The First Donkey Derby was held  on Sacred Heart School grounds



April 1991 the Church and house roofs were covered with Decra steel tiles.


The two temporary classrooms were demolished and the refurbishment of the school commenced. 

The new Nursery commenced  in September and was officially opened by Bishop Kelly on December 8th.1993


23rd May 1993 - the Red Rum Derby Fair was the best ever raising £7,500

Red Rum - 3 times Grand National Winner


2nd - 9th February 1994   Parish Pilgrimage to the Holy Land - 35 people took part.



13th April - the re-ordering of the Church commenced with builders Crumlish & Williams  This included - the removal of the three steps on which the original Altar stood.  Removing the altar railings,  extending the two windows on the side of the Sanctuary, adding a new full length window to the right of the nave.  The two side altars were removed .  The original High Altar was reduced in size and brought forward.  One of the confessionals was bricked up on the Church side  - this was converted into a flower room.


Also in April 1995 coloured glass was put into the Church Windows by Lightfoots of Manchester.



The Parish centre commenced

4th February - Jardine removed the Pipe Organ to take it to be refurbished at a cost of £18,500



The old altar

The new altar

March 12th - Warden Builders of Preston commenced the New Parish  designed by Joseph Burke of Greenhalgh & Williams of Bolton.  The first sod was cut by Father O' Kane in the presence of children from Alice Ingham and Sacred Heart Schools and parishioners.

The building of the Parish Centre involved the removal of the choir gallery, taking over part of the rear of the Church and building an annex to the front of the original Church at the entrance.  It also included building a narthex between the Church and Parish Centre and a new entrance.

The Centre was completed in time to hold a 1996 New Year's Eve Dance.

Late 1996 the Church was carpeted throughout - the Sanctuary, three aisles and underneath the benches. The organ was re- installed and in December the choir gallery was tiered by Jim Millar.  Coloured glass was put into all the windows of the Narthex that look into the Church.  The inside and outside of the Church were decorated by Tom & John Kennedy.


In Autumn 1996 38 parishioners went on Pilgrimage to Rome & Assisi




All the marble work in the Church was redesigned by Jean De-Simone (from Natural Accord - Liverpool).  This includes the redesigning of the Altar, the plinths for the statues and Tabernacle, the five Holy Water Stoups,  four consecration crosses and the Sanctuary Lamp.


During  1997  The statue of the Sacred Heart was re-painted by Carrara ( Liverpool )  who also designed, in fibreglass,  the statue of St. Maximilian Kolbe with his watch tower at Auschwitz  The statue of St. Martin de Porres was also installed.. The statue of St. Patrick, as a shepherd boy was re - installed on a plinth on the right hand side of Our Lady's aisle.  The original statues of Our Lady and St. Joseph were placed  together - forming the Holy Family - on an extended plinth.  The lighting on the Sanctuary was replaced in Spring 1997.

Lent 1997

Fr. O' Kane introduced Lenten Station Masses to the Rochdale Deanery

 8th February the first Meeting to discuss the celebrations for the Ruby ( 40th ) Anniversary of the Church was held.


25th April - The Luncheon Club commenced each Wednesday

During April /May the programme "We the Parish" was held in the Parish Centre.  This was most successful with 50/60 people each week for six weeks.

Also during April the new Amplification  System and Loop System for the hard of hearing were installed.

A most successful Derby Fair was held once again

16th June 1997 - a wonderful celebration of Fr. O' Kane's 40th Jubilee was held.  Hundreds of people enjoyed a wonderful Mass and Liturgy with many, many priests.  Fr. James Creaton from St. Peter's, Middleton preached the Homily.  He was ordained a year later than Fr. O' Kane at All Hallows and gave a most amusing address.  He said that Fr. O' Kane always knew his parishioners because he visited them regularly. He also said that he preached short, well prepared homilies.

After the Mass the Parish Centre was also filled to capacity.  it was a beautiful evening so it was possible to overspill into the Car Park.  The Parish presented Fr. O'Kane with a Sony Sound System.  Father's two nieces, Aisling and Catherine came to represent the family and it was lovely to welcome them.

The celebrations continued on 29th June when the Parish presented a Variety Concert, where they showed off tremendous talent.  It was a wonderful evening for all - a complete sell out.

Later in the year new light shades were put in the Church and new lighting on the Sanctuary.

Sept 13th / 14th The refurbished Church and Parish Centre were opened fro viewing by the public as part of the Civic Society Heritage weekend - a memorial plaque was provided and hung in the Parish Centre.

Books of condolence were signed by parishioners and friends for Mother Teresa and Princess Diana

October 10th - Dedication of the church and blessing of the Parish Centre

Over 400 people attended when Bishop Terence Brain dedicated the Church by  blessing the walls with Holy Water and the four Consecration Crosses and the Altar were anointed.  The relics of St. Margaret Mary Alalacoque and two 2nd century Christian martyrs, SS. Sabianus & Prosperus were placed in the altar.  This was the first official role of the Bishop.  He was formerly auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham. The Bishop also blessed the new Parish Centre.

A canopy over the front door of the Church is to commence on 13th October 1997.  During the last week of October new light shades  (ordered months ago )  and brighter bulbs  will be fitted  in the Church. Tenders are to go out for a wall and railing around the Church and house boundary.

November 4th - The All Hallows Seminarian re-union was held in the Parish Centre

4th / 5th/ 6th December.  Christmas Concert : "The Boy who cried Wolf" and "A Victorian Christmas" were both very well received by packed audiences.

31st December: The busy,  eventful year ended with a New Year's Eve Dance with Eddie Hilton and his Band in the Parish Centre.



During the early part of this year a new Wall & Railing was built along Kingsway & Milnrow Road and between Canon Flynn court and the far side of the Church.

New notice boards were erected on the side of the Church and down in the Paddock.

Monthly Parish Rambles commenced under the leadership of Pat Shine

A Deanery Marriage Preparation Course was held in the Parish Centre led by Father O' Kane and Mike & Joy Bryan from Marriage Encounter.

4th April - Sportperson's Dinner with Guest Speaker Nobbie Stiles and Comedian Dusty Young.  Most successful attended by 150 guests.

29th June Five day Pilgrimage to Lourdes for 27 parishioners and friends.

July/ August All the wasteland on Kingsway was cleared and planted and the grass verges along Kingsway were re-turfed.

13th September The Parish Debt after all the new building and refurbishment stands at £33,940.33

11th October: The Retail Park opposite commenced.

During Autumn the interior of the house was all decorated for £760

3rd/ 4th/ 5th December:  Christmas Concert "Captain Cat and the Carol Singers" and "Old Time Music Hall".  Both very well received.  as were the "Rochdale Mummers" who revived an old tradition and joined in.

31st December Another very eventful year was ended with a Dance in the Parish Centre.  This year the Disco was provided by Andrew & Margaret Smith.


Throughout every year the usual Monthly Children,s Liturgy, October/ Lenten Devotions, Sacramental Programmes, Quiz nights, Monthly Rambles, Derby Fairs and other Social events continue with great success

Preparations for the Millennium arehigh on the agenda this year

Jan/ Feb St. Cuthbert's High School Mission with the Catholic Missionary Society.

Millennium Discussion Groups- thirteen house groups and one cetre group met to discuss the Spiritual & Social Calendar for the Millennium

The Jubilee Flag was hung on the back wall of the Sanctuary and was floodlit.

Lent  Lenten Soup Meals & Reflections  were introduced by Cafod to take place after the 12 noon Mass each Saturday

June  Tons of soil were tipped on the Paddock and with the help of a machine from the Retail Park the ground was levelled and then seeded.

25th July Senior Citizens Party and Entertainment.

Parish Boundary Walk  Christine Buckley was sponsored to walk the Boundary of the Parish by Barclays Bank £1 for £1 to raise money for Disco Equipment for the Parish Centre to celebrate the  Jubilee.

October: Bells were installed but not played until Christmas Eve to salute the Holy Year.

Dec 2nd; 3rd; 4th  Millennium Concert: "A Candle in the Dark." and "Glimpses of the Twentieth Century" was a really wonderful success.

Christmas Jubilee Masses:  Midnight Mass this year  with the opening of the Holy Door in conjunction with the Pope opening the Holy Door in Rome.



30th January  A combined "Songs of Praise" with St. Ann's C.of E. was held in our church followed by refreshments in the Parish Centre.

Spring  The Church and rear of the house were pointed

March  Mozambique Urgent Appeal for CAFOD raised £2,050.00

March The final payment for £16,000 for the Wall and Railing was made.

16th March Concelebrated Deanery Station Mass with  Father Michale Kujak as guest preacher. 

26th March  The Millennium Oak Tree was palnted and blessed between the two light standards at the Paddock side of the Car Park

Palm Sunday the Young Singers Staged "A Man from Galilee" in the Parish Centre

Easter Tuesday Sportsperson's Dinner with Wilf McGuiness & Dusty Young

April 15th Bishop Brain blessed a new classroom at Sacred Heart School.

April 9th A new 15th Station of the Cross "the Resurrection" was blessed.  It was designed by Maureen Taylor and produced in Carrara marble by Jean de Simone.

15th May  Millennium Derby Fair was a magnificent event.  It was held on the church grounds for the first time and was a wonderful day with great attractions  including a Gigantic Slide, roundabout and a Marquee on the back lawn.  The Parish Centre really came into its own housing "Punch & Judy" and the Bar and Refreshments.

June  The Car Park was marked out including spaces for the disabled.

16th June  Outdoor Mass celebrated at Windy Hill, the highest part of the Parish, and planting of an Oak Tree Sapling and  Time Capsule  containing lists of names of parishioners who attended and other mementos for the Millennium.

30th June a ride on Honda Mower was purchased to keep the Paddock and back lawn in excellent condition.

Sept / Oct  Each Sunday one of the four stages of the boundary Walk was walked totalling 17 miles in all.  After the final Stage a celebration tea was held in the Parish Centre for the walkers and each one received a certificate to record their achievement.

October  The First Alpha Course was held in the parish and ran for 10 weeks.

Sunday 1st October reintroduction of the crowning of our Lady's Statue by one of the First Communicants and a Procession in honour of Our Lady was held.

15th October a new style of Missalette was introduced from St. Paul's in Athlone. Ireland

5th November the Cafod Group held its first Traidcraft Stall in the Parish Cebtre.  This is to be held on the first Sunday of each month.

December  A Millennium Crib Competition was held in the Parish Centre where families brought their cribs and they were exhibited in the Centre.  Alice Ingham School also displayed a fine collection of "home made Cribs"

December CCTV Cameras were installed.

!5th December An Hour of Prayer and Reflection was held in Church at the request of Bishop Brain looking at "What is our Mission "  and "Faith in the Future"

17th December "A Celebration of Christmas" was produced in the Parish Centre .  A collection of readings, carols and songs  in preparation for Christmas.

The Year 2000 closed with a beautiful Mass at which the holy Year Banner was taken down from the Sanctuary Wall and the decoration removed from the Holy Door.

The Jubilee Year ended on the 6th January with a social evening and "free and easy" in the Parish Centre.

During the last twelve months the Jubilee Banner was hung, spot lit, on the Sanctuary Wall.  Below, a lighted candle and a Yobel - the ram's horn - a call to prayer. The logo – a circular blue field indicates the universe; a cross transfixes it, upholding five doves, the five continents seeking peace as a light issues from the centre – the Light of Christ – whose birth we honour 2000 years ago.

During the year we have genuflected during the Creed, we have paused to reflect after the homily and readings.  Beautiful Jubilee Vestments and Lectern Fall adorned the liturgy.  We had well attended Preliminary Talks on the Catholic Faith.  As a result, seven adults were received into the Church and last Autumn a wonderful Alpha Course attended by 42.  Our crowning of Our Lady’s statue in October.

On the Social and Material side we had many splendid events – not least the Planting of the Millennium Oak, Spectacular Derby Fair and Celebration of Christmas with Drama / Musical Group.  Yes a blessed year.

The Millennium Year was a a wonderful year in the life of the Parish both spiritually and socially and hopefully has built solid foundations for the future.




January 28th Special Appeal for CAFOD for the Earthquakes in S. America and India raised £1,191.00

February 1st Diocesan Meeting of Parish Priests and Link persons for "Faith in the Future" was held in the Parish Centre

February At the end of the Masses our two links people  Finola Kelly & Pat Shine explained their role and what "Faith in the Future" was all about. Questionnaires were given out to all age groups.

March As throughout the country we are all aware of the farmers during the Foot & Mouth crisis and remember them in our prayers.

March  Parish Groups met to discuss the group questionnaires for "Faith in the Future"

Lent  A Full Programme is planned for Lent icluding Soup Meals for the third year; Weekly Stations of the Cross & Benediction; Talks on the Catholic Faith;  Reflections after Holy Communion at the weekend Masses; New Banner on the Sanctuary Wall thanks to Maureen Taylor  " Remember man that thou art ....." Taize Evening of Prayer and Song

House Groups finalised the "Faith in the Future" discussions.. A very good response in the terms of involvement.

3rd April  Feedback Deanery Meeting on "Faith in the Future"

6th April  Sportperson's Dinner with James Anderton & Jimmy Cricket

6th May  Desert Orchid Derby Fair.  Another great success held on the Church grounds.  a crowd of over 2000 people enjoyed a fantastic day

15th June Father Francis in Concert in the Parish Centre to raise money for the Franciscan Missionaries working with Aids victims in Africa raised £800.

Andrew & Margaret Smith continue to hold Quiz Nights in the Parish Centre every two months and the Parish Rambles also continue on the third Sunday of each month and line Dancing each Monday.

8th July The first Diocesan Newspaper in response to the Mission Review was distributed at each Mass.

August  The Millennium tree on Windy Hill continues to thrive It now displays 12 leaves and is 30 cm in height!

Sept 8th  A new, official  "Young Singers " group was formed.  They will meet each Saturday morning.

Sept  St. Cuthbert's High School are now sporting a new uniform including a black blazer for all pupils.

Sept  Prayers were said for the Victims of the U.S.A. Massacre and their families.

October 3rd  The first night of a seven week course "Exploring the Catholic Church"  30+ people attended.

Oct Meeting held to discuss a Pilgrimage to Rome & Assisi.  All thoughts of going to the Holy Land are out of the quetion because of all the unrest there.

Oct 30th Meeting to discuss and update on "Faith in the Future"

Dec Another new Sanctuary Banner for Advent again thanks to Maureen Taylor.  This time depicting the twin towers & Afghanistan.

Dec 6th  Fr. Francis returned to do a "Country & Western" Concert in the parish Centre.  this time to raise money for our two Youth representatives  Amy Cullinane & Amanda Cryer to join the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II,  and Youth of the world in Toronto.  The event raised £800

16th Dec  Ploughman's Lunch in the Parish Centre when the Young Singers presented "The Hare & the Tortoise" and Rochdale Youth Band under the direction of Eric Landon and our Adult Singers entertained with Christmas Music & Song.

Dec 31st  New Year Family Night organised by Andrew & Margaret Smith.


Jan/ Feb The Young Singers collected items for the Blue Peter Bring & Buy Sale

Simple Talks on the Faith recommenced each Wednesday.

13th Feb  Ash Wednesday - very early this year - Mass with a differnec in the evening.  It was candle lit because of a power cut in Newbold.  It certainly added to the atmosphere.  Ann Marie Coppack, from Cafod, spoke about their work after the evening Mass.

24th Feb  Blue Peter Bring & Buy was held to raise money for transport for the elderly and housebound

24th Feb  Our Parish report to the deanery was distributed  at each Mass.  The information came for the "faith in the Future" discussion groups.

3rd March  We joined St. Jame's, Milnrow for a combined "Songs of Praise"

7th March  Two new speakers were installed in the choir gallery.for Lent. It was hailed as a wonderful event.

Early March The Parish Centre was decorated by Andy Duffy

15th March  St. Patrick's Dance with Sean McSherry was a complete sell out.

8th - 15th April  Parish Pilgrimage to Rome & Assisi 35 parishioners and friends flew from Manchester for 4 days in Rome & 3 in Assisi under the leadership of Father David O' Kane.  It was a wnderful pilgrimage. The highlight being the audience with Pope as the follwing explains

On Wednesday, at the Public Audience with Pope John Paul, over a loud speaker came “ Welcome to the Sacred Heart Pilgrims from Rochdale, England.” we responded appropriately with loud cheers. Pope John Paul sent his Apostolic Blessing to all our families at home. If that wasn’t enough, Jim and Mary Millar, - Mary was using a wheelchair - were introduced personally to the Pope. You can imagine how proud we were for them. Pope John Paul was in great form, singing heartily to a large contingent of youth.

Sadly one of the Pilgrims from Shaw, Keith Davenport, who had been the life and soul of the party ,died the day after his return.  Our deepest sympathy was extended to his wife Joan who travelled with him.

3rd May A Holy Hour was held on the First Friday of May.

19th May  Ploughman's lunch in the Parish Centre with Rochdale Yout Band  and our Young and 'not so young' singers with Songs form the Shows.  This event was to raise the balance of money to send our two Youth to Toronto.

Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Celebrations

We remembered the Queen’s intentions at all our Masses last weekend in prayer and hymns.

31st May  Elizabethan Fancy Dress Jubilee Dance with Sean McSherry in the Parish Centre.  The "Wandrin' Minstrels" entertained with a selection of Elizabethan Songs and a Maypole.  Father stole the show with his Swiss Guard Outfit which he assured us he did not steal on his recent visit to Rome & Assisi.  An excellent night.

"The Wandering Minstrels’ aged from 7 to 60+. With Maypole and Fancy Dress , sang a selection of Old English Songs. It was an added attraction to what was a wonderful, enjoyable night with Sean McSherry.

It was great that so many entered into the spirit of the evening and came in such wonderful costumes. What a variety :Kings, Queens; Princesses, Lords & Ladies, Black Adder, Nobility, Court Jester, Robin Hood, the Chancellor and his lady, Robin Hood, Little John and Maid Marion, not forgetting the wenches, milk maid and inn keepers. We had a visitor from foreign lands who was so well made up that no one recognised her!

And to cap it all our own Papal Envoy in the role of Swiss Guard who added a touch of colour and splendour to the evening. "

3rd June Jubilee Fun Fair

On Monday we had our Jubilee Fair .Despite the inclement weather families, some with very young children, came and enjoyed themselves.

The Rochdale Youth Band aptly played “Singing in the Rain” as the Gigantic Slide became a waterfall as the children sailed down it. The joy and happiness of young children was wonderful to see as without fear they climbed up and slid down.

If that wasn’t enough, sizing up which donkey they were going to ride was very exciting. Actually the donkeys became more like swans for the day .

The Marquee was a ‘Godsend’ housing the Tombola, the ever popular face painting and toy and drinks stalls.The indoor refreshments did a roaring trade; the goldfish were in their element. Birch Radio gave regular forecasts: rain and more rain.People are wonderful - the rain dampened their clothes but not their spirits.£2.182 clear profit was raised.

5th - 7th June Nineteen parishioners spent three wonderful days at the Benedictine Abbey during the week. Father Paul, one of the monks gave the talks which were most enjoyable, informative and challenging.

Joining in the Masses and prayers in the Abbey with all the monks was a great privilege. It was a marvellous few days in peaceful, prayerful surroundings.

6th June  Ellis and Christine Jones, two of our most faithful parishioners celebrated their Diamond Wedding with a Mass where they renewed their Marriage Vows followed by a splendid party in the Parish Centre.

16th June a party for all the helpers at the Jubilee Celebrations was held

18th July Amy Cullinane and Amanda Cryer who were sponsored by the Parishioners  to represent the Sacred Heart in Toronto at the World Youth Congress flew out on Thursday 18th July  with the Salford Diocesan Group from Gatwick Airport

They joined groups from other Diocese in the country. Arriving in Toronto they went to stay with Canadian families. After a few days with them - they are in Canada for ten days - they will stay at the University Complex close to the Youth Venue in Toronto.

There is a wonderful programme of events arranged for the ten days - besides sight seeing tours of the Great Lakes and the Niagara Falls.

Prayer for Youth
ord we ask you to be with Amy and Amanda and all the World Youth who will be gathering for World Youth Day. Grant them the courage to strive for what is right and keep them in your tender care Protect and guide them; watch over them that they may return home safely. We ask this prayer through Christ, Our Lord, Amen


Thursday July 18th - Sunday 21st
Youth from all over the world arrived in cities across Canada to experience life in the local communities. The youth from Salford stayed in the Diocese of London, Ontario approximately 2 hours out of Toronto. The Catholic youth of Canada welcomed them through a programme tha twas spiritual, community based, cultural and social.

Monday July 22nd
All Youth  transferred to Toronto area and settled into University accommodation

Tuesday July 23rd
Opening Mass of welcome with Pope John Paul II presided by Archbishop Ambrozie of Toronto.

Wednesday July 24th - Friday July 26th
During the morning there was catechesis in language speaking groups. The afternoon  included spiritual and social activities. During the evening of the 26th there was Way of the Cross ceremonies across Toronto.

Saturday July 27th
Walking Pilgrimage to Downsview Park and then an evening Vigil with the Pope.

Sunday July 28th
Papal Mass concluded World Youth Day celebrations.

During their stay Amy and Amanda met up with Linda Bottomley as Fr. O' Kane reported:
Yesterday I received a lovely ’phone message from a former parishioner who is known to many of you - who else but Linda Bottomley, who now lives in Toronto with her son Michael.
Linda rang to say that she had met up with Amy and Amanda and had taken them out to dinner “down in the city”. She also said that they were having a wonderful time. What a small world we live in these days

August The little tree on the hill Those of you who took part in the Open Air Mass, for the Millennium, on Windy Hill will be pleased to hear that our oak sapling has survived another winter.It’s still only knee high to a grasshopper but this year it has 17 leaves - 5 up on last year.
If you’re ever passing that way it would welcome a bottle of water.

October For the last two years, after the Summer Break we have held discussion groups in response to watching a video.
2000, we had the 10 week Alpha Course - which gave a basic Christian message.
2001, the Video was Exploring the Catholic Faith by the Young American Theologian Dr. D’Ambrosio.
2002 "Catholics making a Difference". commencing on Wednesday 9th October, running for seven Wednesdays, 7.00 pm - 9.00 pm., the Video is talks by a variety of speakers encouraging Catholics to make more of a difference through their works, witness and words.

11th October The CAFOD Group held a ‘Rich Man Poor Man Meal’ to help us identify with the unfair sharing of food in our world.
In the world there is enough for all but so often whether we have food or not is a game of chance; for example it depends on which country we are born into. To remind us of that, there was a draw for tickets for a place at the Rich Man’s table. Six “lucky” people ate a lavish meal while the remainder had  a bowl of soup.
During the evening The Parish Choral Group - Adults & Children -  set the scene with songs and readings from “African Jigsaw”, a musical written to highlight the injustice and poverty of the Third World.
To really get into the spirit of the evening and to help realise what many of our fellow human beings suffer daily, it was suggested that participants did  not have  tea before coming “ just in case you are not a lucky diner”.  All proceeds went to the world’s poor.

18th October A 60s / 70s night was held in the Parish Centre

October All the lawns were edged with Terram & chippings to keep them neat and make cutting easier. Father and his band of men did the job themselves.

22nd October Pater Drke, a blind man from Milnrow spoke about "Guide Dogs for the Blind" after the October devotions.  It was a marvellous talk and the presence af Curtis, Peter's Guide Dog, added to the evening.

October A Meeting was held to plan a Spring 2003 Pilgrimage to Fatima.

24th October Fr. Ian Kelly spoke to Eucharistic Ministers of the area about the Eucharist

The Parish Centre is certainly fulfilling all the hopes and dreams of former days.  A quote from the Newletter 27th October tells its own story:

“Aren’t we blest!”

"On Monday we had Line Dancing in the Parish Centre.

On Tuesday we had a talk by Peter Drake, “Guide Dogs for the Blind.”

On Wednesday the M6 Theatre staged a production about Asylum Seekers for the 6th Form from St. Cuthbert’s . That was followed by the Luncheon Club. While this was going on, M6 and the 6th Form had vacated the Centre and the students from St. Cuthbert’s went into church for Prayer and Reflection with Fr. Mark Harold, the school chaplain.

On Wednesday evening we had our Course “Catholics Making a Difference”

Then on Thursday evening Fr. Ian Kelly spoke to Eucharistic Ministers from the area.

Last Friday we held our very successful 60s / 70s night. This was followed on Saturday morning by the “Young Singers” weekly practice; and on Sunday there was the monthly Parish Ramble

Of course we had our Mass each day, and Devotions on Tuesday and the Reception Class from our Primary School had a prayerful tour of the Church which is part of the R.E. Schedule for their age group.

Next week besides the normal use of the Centre, the Rochdale Youth Brass Band will be rehearsing for three days and “cutting” a CD.

All our hopes and dreams as to how our Centre would be utilised have certainly borne fruit

October The Pope dedicated the Year Oct 2002 - 2003 The Year of the Rosary  so  volunteers were invited to recite the Rosary each Saturday morning at 11.40 am. Different people taking turns - a fortnight or month at a time. The main intentions being “Peace in the World”, “Peace in Families”.

4th November  Our Parish went on the world wide web

28th Nov A Coloured CCTV camera was installed to cover the entrance to the Church Car Park.

10th December The Police Carol Service was held in our Church.Everyone was made very welcome as Wardle Year 10 Band under the baton of Gary Walczak accompanied the carols with great gusto. Representatives of the Police read the readings. Our two choirs - the young singers and the adult choir - sang “Ave Maria” ( a new edition from the musical “Story of Christmas”) and “The Angel Gabriel”.

A fine congregation enjoyed the evening and the refreshments afterwards provided by the Rochdale Police. Everyone thought our Church, with its well lit car park and Parish Centre, was an ideal setting for the carols. The Sanctuary was particularly admired.

15th Dec   The Parish Centre was filled to capacity for the Ploughman's Lunch.  The Young Singers were wonderful with their new Musical Narrative of the "Christmas Story".  The Adult singers were accompanied by Rochdale Borough Youth Band in a collection of Christmas Carols and Songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber.  The event made £300 for Parish Funds.

New Years Eve  There was a full house at the New Year’s Eve Dance. Rudolph’s Singers and Friends entertained with a few ‘Spots’ during the evening.  A fitting end to a busy year.





To be