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Monday, October 24, 2016
Dedication of new Church in Woking
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 A New Catholic Church was dedicated for Woking, Surrey on 22 October 2008. The Bishop of Arundel & Brighton, Kieran Conry dedicated the church for the parish community of St Dunstan's, Woking, in the presence of Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor.

Present at the Mass of Dedication were the parish clergy, Fr Frank Harrington, Fr David Parmiter and Deacon Russell Young together with two deacons from the deanery and over 40 priests from across the diocese and beyond, including many who had been resident at St Dunstan's in past years. They were joined by a congregation of over 400 including many parishioners as well as the Mayor and Mayoress of Woking, clergy and leaders from other local churches, the Imam from the local Mosque, children from the parish and deanery schools, other guests from the Woking community and former parishioners from far afield.

A "once in a lifetime" experience as one parishioner called it, the themes of water, light and anointing were enhanced with a rich liturgy and a church filled with song, making the whole celebration one of memorable beauty; the new church really becoming, to quote the liturgy, 'an ever-holy place a temple of worship dedicated to the lasting service of God'. The anointing of the new altar and the dedication plaques (from the old St Dunstan's) in the walls of the church, the burning incense in the middle of the altar which sent smoke up to the high roof beams were unforgettable moments!
In his homily, Bishop Kieran spoke of the four 'walls' of the Church echoed in the Prayer of Dedication that the Church is fruitful, the Church is holy, the Church is favoured and the Church is exalted. But the real purpose of the building was, as Cardinal Cormac also reinforced during his final words, to support us as Christians to "go out" and 'as this building is filled with fragrance, so may the Church fill the world with the fragrance of Christ caring for, welcoming and being a witness to the lonely, the sick, the homeless and all those in need.

At the end of the Mass the new foundation stone was blessed. This was created from half of the foundation stone from the old church, then engraved, and the new stone sits embedded in the walls of the new church with the old stone underneath. Atouching symbolism of the new being built on the foundations of the old.

Finally many tributes were paid to the patience, perseverance and achievement of Fr Frank Harrington over 14 years, our long-serving parish priest and all the work done by the professional and parish teams over recent months and past years.

More high spirits ­ of a different kind ­ concluded the evening with a lively reception in St Dunstan's school nearby.

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Tags: , Bishop of Arundel & Brighton, Kieran Conry, St Dunstan's, Woking

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