Letter to St Mary’s from Mother Teresa

In 1980 Fr Jermyn stated that he wished to appoint lay ministers to administer Holy Communion so that they could assist when there was only one Priest in the Parish. The lay ministers would be appointed in accordance with the rules of the Catholic Church.

Father Peter Jermyn died in August 1982 and it was not until Wednesday 11 January 1984 that there was a new Vicar at St Mary’s. Fr Richard Brown’s Collation by the Bishop of Willesden and Induction by the Archdeacon of Northolt took place with the Solemn Pontifical Mass. A reception in the hall followed.

Fr Brown brought ‘a wind of change’ to St Mary’s Kenton. Some liked his changes, some didn’t. The loss of the music St Mary’s had been known for and the introduction of women servers caused problems. Many parishioners finally accepted his decisions but a few would never be able to accept them.

In 1989 a member of the congregation visited Calcutta, India. He took with him a donation from the Sunday School and a retiring collection from St Mary’s, totalling £230.00. This money, he handed over to the sister in charge of the Missionaries of Charity. He was asked to call back the following day when he would receive a letter of thanks. A copy of her letter is reproduced on these pages. He was able to visit some of the Mother Theresa Homes in Calcutta. Mother Theresa was at that time recovering from a heart operation.

A ‘Brainstorming Session’ in 1990 resulted in a list of ideas from the Parishioners on what they wanted of their church and Clergy: The list included, glassing in the area inside the West doors so that they could remain open for anyone to visit the Church, encouraging people to sit further forwards, i.e. no one to sit behind the Churchwardens, Clergy to be more visible walking around the Parish, lay ministers of Communion visiting the sick, Lay Pastoral Groups visiting the housebound, healing services, more teaching sessions, making visitors feel more welcome, combine Evening Prayer and Benediction on occasions, allowing Parishioners to choose their favourite hymns from time to time, more lay participation in the Mass, encouraging young families with children by putting leaflets in schools, clinics and libraries.