Church celebrates 80th birthday

St Patrick's Church, Sowerby Bridge
St Patrick's Church, Sowerby Bridge
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A Sowerby Bridge church held a festival in celebration of its 80-year history.

Sacred Heart St Patrick’s Catholic Church, Bolton Brow, welcomed its congregation and new guests to a schedule of events, held over four days. to commemorate its opening on October 16, 1934, when it was officially opened by Bishop Cowgill.

On October 16, 2014, a special mass was held by Father Kevin Firth the church’s parish priest and was joined by monsignior J Wilson, of the diocese of Leeds, monsignior B Sharp and Father M Mahady, both former Sowerby Bridge parish priests, members of the Halifax deanery, former and current school church head teachers, a Irish Sisters of Charity representative and the congregation.

Michael Blackburn, whose grandfather laid the foundation stone of the earlier 1921 church and again in 1934 for the new church brough the silver trowel used at both ceremonies with him, pictured.

The mass was followed with a buffet supper in the church hall.

The church continued its four day celebrations with an open day to welcome new visitors and showcased various historical religious artefacts.

Michael Blackburn with the silver trowel used by his grandfather to lay the 1921 stone of the original St Patrick's Church

Michael Blackburn with the silver trowel used by his grandfather to lay the 1921 stone of the original St Patrick's Church

A special concert was held with performances from the church’s Sacred Heart School, violinists and Friendly Band.

During the special celebrations, the wedding of Amy and Darren Jugroop, pictured with Fr Firth, took place and was extra-special as the bride was the fourth female generation of her family to be married at St Patrick’s church.

The end of the church’s birthday events was marked with a special Sunday mass service, performances from Serious Harmony and the planting of a magnolia tree by parishioners Kevin Barker and Sheila Pickles who maintain the church’s grounds.

Fr Firth said: “It was a wonderful celebration and one which many will remember for many years.”