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Thursday, March 23, 2017
Liverpool church to be consecrated after 80-year wait
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¬†The Archbishop of Liverpool, the Most Reverend Patrick Kelly, is to officially consecrate St Joseph's church, Penketh on Friday, during a Mass of Thanksgiving at 7.30pm. The celebration will be the culmination of ten months' renovation and restoration work on the 80-year-old building undertaken at a cost of £720,000. In consecrating the church Archbishop Kelly will complete a work which, at various stages, has received the blessing and support of no fewer than three of his predecessors. It was in 1923 that Fr Morrissey of Sacred Heart church, Warrington and Fr Barry of St Marie's church, Widnes bought the land on which the church stands for the princely sum of £60. Later that year on 23 September Archbishop Richard Keating, then Archbishop of Liverpool, laid the foundation stone and the new church was opened in 1924. A further 39 years later in 1963, the newly-built west transept was opened and blessed by Archbishop Keating's successor, Archbishop John Carmel Heenan on 14 September. It was almost eighteen years before the east transept of the building was opened and blessed by Archbishop Derek Worlock on 29 January 1981. The present major renovation work on the church has included putting a pitched roof on the transepts, widening the nave by building cloisters on either side, fitting cathedral style windows, and building a new entrance. Inside there is a new altar, ambo, and baptismal font made out of York stone. The church is carpeted throughout and has new seating. The statues and the Stations of the Cross have been beautifully restored and there is now a stained glass window behind the altar. Parish Priest, Fr Joseph Bibby, said: "After months of disruption the parishioners of St. Joseph's now have a beautiful church worthy of the glory and praise of God".
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