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London: foundation stone laid for first new church of millennium

 The sun shone for the first time in a week on Sunday as the parish of St Vincent de Paul in Osterley, west London, gathered for the blessing of the foundation stone of their new church, by Auxiliary Bishop Alan Hopes. Priest-in-charge Father Mark Leenane told ICN: "As Bishop Hopes pointed the stone, there was an impromptu drum roll from one of the children in the folk group. It lent a sense of drama to the occasion and brought a smile to people's faces." All the choirs came together for the celebration Mass. Guests included Mr Howard Threadgill, from John Adams construction company, architect Mr Jos Townend, diocesan surveyor Mr Chris Fanning and chair of the building committee Mr Mohsen Zikri. Fr Mark explained that the parish has been waiting for its church for nearly 70 years. The hall, which was built in 1937 has served as a temporary church since then. During his homily, Bishop Hopes said that besides being a House of God for the Catholic community, St Vincent's was also a sign of the presence of God for all the people of Osterley. The new church is due to be completed later this year.