Church blaze - update

 The fire at the church of St Michael and All Angels, Leigh Park, Hampshire yesterday was caused by a bolt of lightening. Besides destroying the church, it also consumed the priests accommodation, ICN learnt this morning. Parish Priest, Fr Joseph Keller said he just had time to grab his wallet and passport before the building was engulfed in flames. Fr Joe said: "I am devastated on behalf of the people. This is a good parish, and the people always rally round. I am very conscious of their support for me and for the parish." Fr Joe added: "When Durham Cathedral was struck by lightning and damaged by fire, some observers said it was because the then Archbishop of York was preaching a very liberal sermon. I wish to make it clear that I was not preaching a dodgy sermon on the morning of the fire!" The local Anglican Church, St Francis has offered Fr Joe the use of their church this Saturday and Sunday. The vigil Mass will be at 6.00pm on Saturday and on Sunday morning, Mass will be at 8.45am. Longer term arrangements are still under review. For pictures of the blaze click on: the Diocese of Portsmouth website source: Barry Hudd, Communications Officer, Diocese of Portsmouth

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