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Heckmondwike church celebrates centenary

CENTENARY MASS A special celebration was held at Holy Spirit Church to mark its 100 years serving the Heckmondwike community.

CENTENARY MASS A special celebration was held at Holy Spirit Church to mark its 100 years serving the Heckmondwike community.

A landmark church has celebrated its centenary after the completion of a huge restoration scheme.

The foundation stone at Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Church, in Bath Road, Heckmondwike, was laid in June, 1914 and 100 years later it holds Grade II listed status.

A spokesman for the church said its restoration and redecoration scheme attracted £170,000 in funding from English Heritage, with a further £100,000 to be raised by parishioners.

At the centenary mass, former parish priest Father Jim Leavy, who delivered the sermon, said: “How beautiful this building is.

“These walls and pillars have stood here for a long time and if they could talk, imagine the incredible stories they would tell.

“On my visits over from Dublin, the flight paths frequently come over Heckmondwike and I always look out of the window and recognise the green dome of this building.

“It really stands out, and my hope is that the church will be a beacon of light for all around.”

The original parish priest, who oversaw the building of Holy Spirit, was Father John O’Connor: he was a friend of author GK Chesterton and the inspiration for his detective character, Father Brown.

Monsignor John Wilson, who led the mass, said: “For the past 100 years this church has been home to generations of people.

“From the cradle to the grave, people have worshipped within these walls and we hope you continue to make this church a home, a place of welcome and a place with an open door.”

 

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