Welcome to the site for News, Events and up-to-date Information on Traditional Catholicism in the West Midlands (UK). I am one of the Diocesan Representatives for the Latin Mass Society of England & Wales for the Promotion of the Traditional Roman Rite.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Tradition Returns to West Bromwich


For the last 8 months the Parish of St Michael & the Holy Angels, which seemed to have been stripped of many treasures in the last 40-odd years, has benefited from a select group of parishioners striving to reinvigorate the Parish through Tradition. The church is located on the corner of a busy high street; an area which seems degenerate when compared with the nearby modern developments. Behind its car park is a pub, which seems to see more action than the neighbouring parish hall.

But looks can be deceptive. This Parish has a noble history which dates back to the Catholic Emancipation and the stalwart efforts of Hon Fr George Spencer CP, or Ignatius (his Passionist name). Building began in 1830 in large part due to his wealth, but the church has since been extended including a noble tower and spire erected in 1911.

Photos from pre-conciliar days show 40 hours devotion with an abundance of candles, a beautiful wooden reredos of the Archangels, and undoubtedly a Parish rich in both faith and furnishings. Today perhaps things have changed in a similar way to most of christendom: struggling, dwindling and ageing.

But on the other hand there are many pious people in the Parish who are hospitable and active in their local community. An LMS member made it possible with the Parish Priest's permission, to hold a Solemn High Requiem last November to honour deceased Parishioners, Priests and Benefactors. Shortly afterwards Fr Louis Le Van Hong erected a plaque commemorating all the Parish Priests.

This event was such a success that we are lucky enough now to have a monthly Low Mass at 6pm every third Wednesday. The original sacred heart altar was used, and furnished with dusty antiquities that have been retrieved from the church tower; these include beautiful altar cards and even an 18th century missal. It began on Ash Wednesday with, understandably, huge numbers. Since then it has been a modest crowd of about 20, mainly older age parishioners who would never have dreamed the treasure of the Latin Mass would return after they gave it up submissively. Also added to this shrine of Tradition is a votive lamp for the Servant of God Fr. Ignatius Spencer, who will hopefully be canonised in the future.

1 comment:

Patrick Fahey said...

The reverence and beauty of the traditional Mass is a blessing for the parish and the town. It would not have been possible without the help and dedication of many including the priests who give their time unstintingly and Matthew Doyle for his knowledge and patience in often trying circumstances.

Related Posts with Thumbnails