Golden Jubilee celebrations at St Mark’s
Archbishop Malcolm celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving on Wednesday 6 July for the 50th anniversary of St Mark’s, Halewood.
The parish was officially established on 25 March 1965 when Father Cornelius Kane was appointed as parish priest. With no church building Mass was first celebrated In St Veronica’s school hall and later in St Mark’s school hall. When the presbytery was built weekday Mass was celebrated in the Chapel there.
In December 1971 Father Richard Colbert was appointed as parish priest and he was to remain at St Mark’s for over thirty-four years until his death on 19 March 2005. In the brief history he wrote he remembers the progress being made in the establishment of the parish, ‘the work already done was impressive - a junior school and infant school, a club and a presbytery. The next building would have to be a church. On 11 June 1971 work began preparing the foundations for our new church. On the same day Bishop Augustine Harris arrived for the first visitation of the parish, and the first Confirmations. A bronze plaque in the porch recalls the official opening of our church on 6 July 1972.’
Long before St. Mark's was officially established many people worked week in, week out to bring the day closer when they would have their own church. Fundraising was vital and parishioners used their imagination to devise a variety of ways to make money. The booklet from the official opening of the church has a list of items donated by families and organisations including lamps, candlesticks, benches, and statues. The PA system was funded from the proceeds of a ‘Tom O’Connor Show’ which took place in the parish club and the organ was donated by the supervisors of the Ford Motor Company at Halewood.
On 1 January 2006 the parish joined together with Holy Family and St Andrew’s to form the parish of St John Vianney.
The celebration Mass for the fiftieth anniversary was well supported as the celebrations brought together old and new faces as former parishioners returned to give thanks, priests from the Liverpool South deanery concelebrated the Mass together with former parish priest Father Vincent McShane and gave thanks for volunteers past and present who support every aspect of church and parish life
Father Matthew Nunes, the current parish priest, paid tribute to the many priests who have supported the life and work of the parish since those early days. He also gave thanks for the warmth and caring nature of the community as expressions of a depth of faith that so many have celebrated in St Mark’s.
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The PA system was funded from the proceeds of a ‘Tom O’Connor Show’