A Parishioners Impressions of the Centenary Week Celebrations

Following a year of many and varied celebrations to mark the one hundredth birthday of the Holy Ghost Church, it was appropriate that the emphasis in the ‘Centenary Week Celebrations’ should be on remembering those who have gone before us by creating a wonderful display of flowers and memories to which everyone was invited. Special flower arrangements were placed in significant parts of the church to reflect prayer and worship. Many of the visitors remarked that the colours of the floral displays were well chosen to complement the stained glass windows and the décor of the interior of the building. The beautiful white flowers in the Lady Chapel represented the memories of departed relatives, friends and benefactors and the many cards and messages displayed there were written by parishioners who had contributed to the project.

After the evening Mass in honour of St. Joseph the Worker on his feast day, Friday 1 st May, the Reflection Service on Saturday 2nd May, led by the Parish Bereavement Team, was a fitting tribute to those who have died and highlighted our responsibility to those left behind. It gave parishioners and their guests the opportunity to see the beautiful flowers and sample hospitality and friendship in the Parish Hall. The church was then open from midday to 5pm for four days to welcome visitors and encourage everyone to look at the church adorned with flower arrangements and filled with fragrant bouquets. It was also an opportunity to look at the photo displays and scrap books of activities over the years. At 6pm the Parish Mass included the re-commissioning of the Bereavement Team, a group of parishioners dedicated to helping and comforting others in their time of loss. A further commemoration of our departed brothers and sisters took place on Monday 4th May with the Requiem Mass for Relatives, Friends and Benefactors.

On Tuesday evening ‘Reflections for the Centenary’ gave all those present the opportunity to think about the past, present and future of the church before Wednesday 6th May, the Centenary itself. The day began with a morning Mass which included the next generation of parishioners, the pupils of St. Joseph’s School. Bishop Mark, the Bishop of Plymouth, celebrated the evening Mass followed by refreshments for dignitaries, invited guests and parishioners in the Parish Hall and fireworks in the garden. Bishop Mark congratulated everyone in the parish on the anniversary which represents an important milestone in the history of the church. “Your lovely church,” he said, “is dedicated to the third person of the Holy Trinity and the Holy Spirit is still very much at work in the life of this community.” He also led the congregation in applauding the work of Father Philip who has tirelessly supported all the activities of the Centenary Year.

On Saturday 9th May sixteen of our youngest children made their First Holy Communion. The finale of the week was the ever-popular hog roast on Sunday 10th May after the 11am Mass, with over 150 parishioners and friends enjoying the meal together. During the Centenary Year there have been numerous initiatives and many notable achievements. A wealth of creativity and talent has surfaced which only the momentum of this special year could have produced. Perhaps the most encouraging aspect of the festivities has been that new friendships and partnerships have been formed through working together on projects to make the year special for the whole parish and for the town of Exmouth. Let us hope that future generations will look back with pride at the Holy Ghost Church of 2015.

— A Parishioner