There have been two recent events which have emphasised the success and appreciation of your generosity with regards to our association with the Diocesan Mission in Peru.
The first concerned Father Gerry Hanlon who was one of the first religious to go to Peru on behalf of the Diocese some 40 years or so ago. Whilst on holiday with his family in the Parish, he readily agreed to talk to parishioners about his experiences in Peru and of the causes of the poverty endured by those living in the shanty towns and other areas of the country. There were over 40 parishioners in attendance which was admirable in itself when taking into account the fact that it took place on the same day as the Parish Barbecue. We are grateful that Father Gerry took the time to be with us and we trust that his efforts in Peru will continue for some time to come and be of benefit to those less fortunate than ourselves.
The second event was a Diocesan recognition of the success achieved by this Parish. The 'Bottle' first appeared in the Church in 1983 following a discussion between three then recently retired parishioners. There had been some some conversation between them about the nuisance value of the old « pence coins but with a comment made that some people would welcome them. With the support of Canon Tangney, the three parishioners - the late Tom Brimelow, his wife Catherine and the late Catherine Williams set about encouraging parishioners to leave the coins in the bottle. The appeal was extended to St John's and, as you would expect, the coins increased in value with bank notes also playing a part.
Following the death of her husband, Catherine Brimelow continued her involvement with help from Catherine Williams and other parishioners. However in late 2005, following the death of Catherine Williams, Catherine decided to stand down and the reins were handed over.
In recognition of her efforts, Catherine was awarded The Leeds Diocesan Medal which was presented to her by Monsignor Philip. With members of her family present, it was obviously, and justifiably, a proud moment for Catherine but she is the first to say that the award is a recognition of the efforts of Tom, Catherine Williams, and the others who have helped over the years, and, more importantly, you the parishioners.
There can be no doubt that your generosity has improved the lives of many. You only have to spend a few moments with any of the Religious who has spent time in Peru and the reality is most obvious.
Thanks should also go to Monsignor Philip for his support of the Peru Fund; for the manner of presentation to Catherine and for the welcoming words and hospitatility shown to Catherine's family.
I am sure that the Parish will continue to support the fund and build on the success achieved by Catherine and the others.