It was standing room only at Sacred Heart and St Margaret Mary in Aston last month (Jan) as hundreds of people gathered to celebrate their fundraising efforts.
A Mass of Thanksgiving was held on Sunday 14 January to mark the renovation and repairs at the Grade II listed Catholic church, which is now restored to its former glory.
Parishioners have been fundraising for roof repairs for several years and the work became even more urgent following a Quinquennial Inspection in 2015.
Now the vital repairs to the roof (to help protect the mosaic) and ancillary areas have taken place to ensure the building is fit-for-purpose for many years to come.
The church, which was built in 1922, is of Italian design and its interior boasts an extraordinary lavish decorative scheme incorporating extensive mosaic work over the sanctuary.
The rainbow-coloured mosaic is truly breath-taking and a unique feature of the church.
To ensure these features remained intact the church community, working with the Archdiocese Development Department, undertook a mammoth fundraising programme to raise the cash needed. They are now within £20,000 of their £477,000 target.
The main celebrant at today’s Mass was the Most Rev Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham, who gave thanks to all those involved in the fundraising programme.
Musical accompaniment was provided by the Gambian Choir and the Church Choir.
A beautiful rendition of Hymn to Our Lady, in the Malayalam language, was sung by the Sehion Community.
Afterwards people gathered at the nearby Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School for entertainment, food and a chance to view historical documents and photos of the church.
A wonderful celebration for the people of Aston.
By Faye Fawcett,
Sacred Heart and St Margaret Mary, Aston