Saturday, September 27, 2008

Victorian Society condemns Bishops over church closures

Action: please support the Daily Telegraph's 'Save Our Churches' petition, here. Hat-tip to Damian Thompson.

From the Telegraph, in part: Dr Ian Dungavell, director of the Victorian Society, said there was widespread dismay at the Church's "intransigent" policy of closing churches, many of which have thriving congregations.

St Marie's Church in Widnes, an Italian Gothic church designed by Edward Welby Pugin, is on a list of the ten most endangered Victorian buildings in Britain, to be published by the Society this week. Three other churches, including one of only three Swedish churches in the UK, are among those highlighted on the endangered list. More than 7,000 people have signed up to support The Sunday Telegraph's Save Our Churches campaign, which has been backed by politicians, celebrities and church leaders including Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

The Archdiocese of Liverpool tried to have St Marie's demolished last year despite protests from local residents and the local council. It was saved at the eleventh hour after being designated as a Grade II listed building, but has remained closed and now faces falling into disrepair. Dr Dungavell said that that the influx of eastern European Catholics into the area, and across the country, made the Church's decision particularly baffling. "The Archdiocese is refusing to talk to us about their decision and seems determined to ensure that no-one can use it if they can't demolish it," he said.
Full article here.

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen