Scotland: fire destroys island church

 A serious fire destroyed the Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Stornoway on the Island of Lewis in the early hours of Friday 26 November. No one was hurt in the blaze. No details are known on the cause of the fire which is now the subject of police investigation. The Church, situated in kenneth Street in the centre of the island, was opened in 1991 and was thirteen years old. There are an estimated 210 Catholics in the parish. The Parish Priest of Holy Redeemer is Parish priest Fr Paul Hackett SJ is arranging for Masses to be said at another location. Bishop Ian Murray, Bishop of Argyll and the Isles has sent the following message to Fr Paul and the parishioners. "It was with deep sadness and shock that I heard this morning of the disastrous fire that destroyed your church. I offered Mass for all of you this morning and will continue to remember you in my prayers over the coming weeks and months. Already the Diocese has begun to plan for the replacing of the church and I know that you will cooperate with Fr. Paul and the Diocesan authorities in this programme of reconstruction." "The loss of your place of worship is felt by all the priests and people of the Diocese who are united with you in their thoughts and prayers. Whenever tragedy strikes, we find it hard to understand; but in faith we accept that everything is in the hands of God and we accept his will in all things. In that spirit of faith in God and submission to his will let us face the future with the confidence that our present loss will be our future gain With my prayers and blessing." Source: Catholic Media Office

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