A chapel dedicated to the Jesuits who served the parish for 150 years has been blessed at Sacred Heart Church in Blackpool. The last Jesuit parish priest, Fr Denis Blackledge SJ, and Brother Andrew Atkinson SJ, who was sacristan there, represented the British Province at a special Mass attended b around 120 parishioners. The Jesuit Memorial Chapel is situated at the back of the church with the altar taken from the House Chapel. The Baptismal Font that used to stand in this location has been moved to a dais at the front of the church. Two wooden plaques to the left and right of the tabernacle in the new chapel list the names of all the Jesuit parish priests since 1855, and note the handover of the parish to the Diocese of Lancaster in 2004. A newly re-painted statue of the Jesuit founder, St Ignatius Loyola, stands to one side of the altar, with a votive candle stand and kneelers for quiet prayer. Fr Denis paid tribute to Sacred Heart's current parish priest, Canon Edmond Carey, and to those who worked to create the Jesuit Memorial Chapel. "Much loving work has gone into the woodwork and general lay-out of the chapel," he said. "We were privileged to be able to meet and bless those involved in the building and preparation of the chapel with Canon Ned. It was good to see the Parish flourishing even more under new management, with plenty of new servers and parish helpers, and a few new touches in the general lay-out of the church." Sacred Heart Church is located in Talbot Road, Blackpool, and is open until 5pm daily. Source: Jesuit Communications Office
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