From Parish Priest, Fr Biju Antony, SCJ

Olton Friary, Church of The Holy Ghost and Mary Immaculate

The parish volunteers play an essential role in ensuring the smooth functioning of the parish. Their invaluable time and talents contribute significantly to the parish community, and as a Parish Priest,  I am immensely grateful for their ongoing commitment.

During the Synodal Journey, parishioners also expressed the need for a new Parish Directory to aid communication, as the previous one was outdated. With the help of the Parish Directory team, I have updated our new Parish Directory to include all relevant parish information, its management, church services and liturgy. 

The directory also contains a section on the various activities, groups and organisations within the parish.

We currently have 33 active groups, consisting of 140 dedicated parishioners and 20 teenagers and youngsters. Many of our volunteers contribute to more than one capacity, showcasing their diverse skills. Our volunteers come from all walks of life, generously devoting their time and expertise in various capacities and abilities.

In recognition of their exceptional contribution, on behalf of the Sacred Heart Community and Parish, I invited them all for a special 'Thank You' buffet on the Solemnity of Christ the King evening, Saturday 25 November 2023. This event aimed to foster connection, knowledge-sharing and appreciation among volunteers. 

We were blessed to have Bishop David Evans as our special guest, along with Fr Austin and Bros. Gerard and Liam.

Bishop David enlightened the group with a Gospel theme centred on talents during the celebrations. He congratulated members who were stepping down after their long and dedicated service. Lively music accompanied the meal, creating a vibrant atmosphere. It was a time for everyone to come together, share and enjoy the festivities.

The event marked the conclusion of the Church calendar year and coincided with the Feast of Christ the King, and also celebrated the paternal feast of our parish, the Immaculate Conception of our Blessed Mother on 8 December.

Olton Friary website