Norwich church set to celebrate 50th birthday
St George's church on Sprowston Road in Norwich is getting ready to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its consecration this year.
The Catholic parish will be hosting a whole range of events open to all and spanning the whole year. The highlight will be an Anniversary Mass on Tuesday May 24, at 7pm celebrated by Bishop Alan Hopes.
Parish priest, Fr Sean Connolly, was interviewed on Radio Norfolk on Sunday morning about the celebrations and he told presenter Anthony Isaacs that the church opened in 1964 and two years later it was consecrated. Before that St George’s church was on Fishergate in the city centre.
"The parish covers the north side of Norwich and extends out into the county with a weekend congregation totalling around 450 people," said Fr Sean, who himself arrived in post two years ago.
“In celebrating the 50th anniversary of the consecration of our beautiful St George’s church, the parish aims to appeal to as wide an audience as possible and invite in our neighbours and the people of Norwich,” he said. “We want to be a really outward looking parish and, as Pope Francis has suggested, open our doors to engage with the wider world."
“There was a real buzz when we unveiled the 50th Anniversary programme at our Christmas Masses. We want the people of Norwich to know we are here, know we are celebrating, and know we invite them to be a part of it,” said Fr Sean.
“We have a whole 12 months of activities planned, including a beer festival in June, a 60s disco reflecting the fact we opened in the 1960s and a liturgy celebrating 50 years of marriage at the church.
“There will also be a tea party to mark St George’s Feast Day and various concerts throughout the year as the building has fantastic acoustics. On June 12 we will be having a street party for our neighbours who live alongside us on Sprowston Road to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday.
“On May 24, the actual anniversary, we are having a special Mass with Bishop Alan Hopes and aim to invite back all of the priests who have worked here and as many people who have connections with the building.”
Looking to the next 50 years, Fr Sean said: “Pope Francis has really made a shift in some people’s view of the church, which some have seen in the past as a bit distant and condemnatory. Pope Francis has reminded us that that is not what the Gospel is or what we are called to be."
You can hear the full interview here, start listening from 1.10.30
More details of the celebration at www.stgeorgenorwich.com/50th-anniversary
Pictured above is St George’s Church on Sprowston Road in Norwich.