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ORDINARIATE FESTIVAL: Group's plans for redundant Methodist church
Further details have been announced of the Torbay Mission's hopes to buy a redundant Methodist church in Torquay which it is currently renting for its weekly Sunday Mass.
Speaking during a presentation in Westminster Cathedral Hall to the Ordinariate Festival (on Saturday 20 September), Fr David Lashbrooke, leader of the Mission, said his hope and prayer was that, one day, Chelston Methodist Church would become the Parish Church of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham with St Cuthbert Mayne (the Catholic saint priest who lived in the west country and was martyred for the faith in 1577).
Fr Lashbrooke said: "Teaching is at the heart of mission and we are committed to worship, to teaching, to fellowship and to outreach. This church has wonderful spaces for all these things". He went on to explain that the facilites included a kitchen, where the group could provide hospitality and a space which could, for example, accommodate 30 people for a Bible studies class. There is also room for people who just wanted to come in and read a book or have a cup of coffee.
He said the first phase of the group's plan was to buy the church, which would cost £150,000. Phase two would be to renovate the building and make the spaces for teaching. Phase three would be to build a presbytery, which he said could be done for something in the region of £57,000. Fr Lashbrooke said he planned to do this "by prayer, obviously, but we are also going to invite people to buy a share in the vision". Shares would be priced at £50 each and anyone buying one would receive a certificate and a prayer.
"If we achieve this, it will be one way of getting the Ordinariate known for all that it is and should be. It will be a wonderful place of witness" he said.
Fr Lashbrooke's presentation - in which he also talked about his group's charity shop, which he said was a "window into the community and a place of pastoral care" - was one of several delivered at the festival on Saturday morning. The others are reported here.
Anyone wishing to donate to the Methodist church project is warmly encouraged to do so. Cheques should be made payable to:
Ordinariate OLW - Torbay Group and sent to:
Fr David Lashbrooke,