Letter: A church is more than a building and a piece of land

Dear ICN

I'm a parishioner at St Thomas More RC Church in West Malling, Kent, the plight of which has been reported in the ICN and other media in recent weeks. I would also like to add to the concerns and I've written to The Most Reverend John Wilson to air them. Namely, the parishioners - us!

Many of us have come from other places in the world and 'feel they have come home' here. I too felt like this when I and my family left South Africa 32 years ago and made St Thomas More our own.

There are deep emotional ties for me both with the Catholic Community and the Church which is the hub and focus of daily and weekly life for us. And I am not the only one - I meet new parishioners who have come from elsewhere in the world and who feel at home here. Some have left their homes knowing they may never go back. I've experienced the feeling of being torn from my roots and now I feel it's going to happen again.

This is not just a building and a piece of land. It's a whole lot more where the social history of people and families are involved.

A thought : Some years ago I was involved with a parishioner who had a questionable agenda. I got 'sucked in' and very nearly made a mistake. In fact I was on my way to carry out an instruction on that person's behalf when I was stopped by the thought "On what authority"? I turned around and went home. I've asked the Archbishop the same question "On what authority" the decision to break up our parish.


Eileen Scholes

West Malling


Archdiocese of Southwark statement on Parish of St Thomas More, West Malling - www.indcatholicnews.com/news/38714

Kent parish fight to save their church from closure - www.indcatholicnews.com/news/38632

Petition: www.change.org/p/the-most-rev-john-wilson-archbishop-of-southwark-save-st-thomas-more-catholic-church-in-west-malling

Watch: Kent online video report - www.kentonline.co.uk/malling/news/church-and-pre-school-go-up-for-sale-219198/

Tags: West Malling, St Thomas More Church, Archbishop John Wilson, Eileen Scholes, Kent

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