Cardinal Vincent consecrated the Church of the Holy Family in West Acton, London on Saturday, 1st April 2017, on the 50th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone by Bishop Patrick Casey. The building of the church was supervised by Fr Gerrard Barry, the first Parish Priest. Much work has been undertaken recently to complete a comprehensive program of internal restoration and renovation.
Former Parish Priests, Frs John Wiley and Charles Cahill were also present, as was Mr Richard Kornicki, one of the Lieutenants of London, local MP Dr Rupa Huq, Shadow Minister for Home Affairs and some local councillors.
In a traditional service of consecration, the Cardinal sprinkled the congregation and the altar with holy water; and the altar and the walls of the church were anointed while the choir sang ‘Holy is the temple of the Lord’. Following the Litany of Saints, he placed the relics of three martyrs, Saint Proba, Saint Reparata and Saint Casta in the pedestal of the altar.
This was followed by the burning of incense on the altar and the incensation of the consecration cross spaced around the church, after which the altar was prepared for Mass with all the candles of the church lit as a sign of rejoicing, to the accompaniment of celebratory hymns and psalms sung by the church choir and pupils from Holy Family School.
With hands extended the Cardinal blessed the people and gave thanks to those who have helped in the process of renovation and ensuring the completion of the church, and those who worked hard to prepare for this special occasion. Parish Priest Fr Neil Reynolds said: ‘The consecration went very well and was a beautiful and moving celebration; as always with these occasions, their success is dependent upon everyone who is involved working together and this was certainly the reality on the day, and I reiterate my thanks to all those who contributed in any way whatsoever to making it so.’
Father Nadheer Dako, the Catholic Chaldean chaplain who regularly celebrates Mass at the church, said: ‘For me, it was a very reverent event, so inspiring and moving. The faith-filled congregation, together with the church and school choirs made it a very special Mass.’