An extensive refurbishment, fundraising, special masses and key events are all forming part of the 80th anniversary celebrations at Holy Name of Jesus church.

This milestone year for the Great Barr church is being celebrated at every opportunity and the whole community is encouraged to get involved - including supporting an event tonight (Fri) after a recent skydiving fundraiser. 

Just last week two special school Masses took place - for Holy Name and St Mark’s – to enable the schoolchildren to be a part of this special occasion.

Last month a Mass was held to mark 80 years of the Laying of the Foundation Stone, and on 19 December the anniversary of the Opening of the Church will be celebrated.

A Parish Mass of Thanksgiving – to which everyone is invited – will be held on Friday 21 September, at 7pm, with Archbishop Bernard Longley the principal celebrant.

Over the last six months Holy Name has undergone an extensive refurbishment to ensure it is fit for purpose for many more years to come.

A new roof, new windows, better insulation and interior decorating are just some of the improvements that have been made.

And to help pay for the refurbishment a dedicated fundraising campaign is underway, aptly named the Parish Building Fund.

Parishioners have already raised £50,000, and a £25,000 grant from the Poor Parishes’ Fund has also been secured, but a further £175,000 is still needed to foot the bill.

Just one example of fundraising in the parish is a recent sponsored Skydive.

Tonight (Friday 13 July) a ‘thank you’ event will be held in the parish centre after secretary Payal Gordhan raised £2,000 at the last count (not including what is raised tonight) after plunging 15,000 ft from a plane.

Brother Andrew, SCJ, a member of the Sacred Heart Fathers and Brothers Community, (along with Fr Alessandro and Br John) based at Holy Name, said: “Our 80th anniversary year is a milestone to be proud of.

“This church has served the Great Barr community for 80 years, and we want this to continue for another 80 years.

“There are lots of events to get involved in and I would encourage the community to do so. Please be a part of this wonderful year of celebrations.”

Parishioners are also being encouraged to sign up for Gift Aid, consider leaving a legacy and utilising the parish centre to maximise raising money for the Parish Building Fund.