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Monday, October 24, 2016
Celebration for a great architect
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 There was standing room only at a celebration Mass held for architect Austin Winkley's 70th birthday at St Joseph's in Bunhill Row on Laetare Sunday. The church was decorated with pink flowers for the day. Austin was joined by his daughters Emma and Antonia, his wife Lala, and many friends relations and co-workers, among them: Peter Bussey Credit Union development manager in parishes, Mary Grey theologian, Peter Seddon, from Wells for India, Pat Fletcher, 80, nurse and 'living matriarch of Austin's family, Robina Rafferty, past director of CHAS, Julian Filochowski past director of CAFOD, and Pauline Webb religious broadcaster with the BBC. During the Mass Lala Winckley read a tribute based on Eclesiastes 'there is a time for every season' outlining Austin's life from his childhood in Lancashire to designing hospitals and clinics in Mexico, new churches in England including St Margaret's in Twickenham - "as precise as the design for Concorde flying above' - his work with the Liturgy Commission, CHAS and English Heritage. In his homily, the Rt Rev John Austin, Bishop of Aston, said it was a tragedy that among church leaders today "some of our best evangelists are some of our worst hosts." But, he said, Winkley's work breathed "a truly Catholic spirit. It is a marvellous legacy that speaks and is indeed an invitation to participate in the life of God." At the party afterwards, there was a birthday cake, designed with a church steeple on top of a Mayan temple. Austin said that during his stay in Mexico he learnt that one civilisation had built its religious buildings on those of the previous one, and had developed a sympathy for this practice. Julian Filochowski said: "Austin Winkley is a gentle and passionate apostle of Vatican II. A Gaudiem et Spes architect, and a deeply committed fellow pilgrim".
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