11:00am Sunday 25th August 2013
A VALE church has marked 170 years of worship.
St Benet’s Roman Catholic Church in Kemerton celebrated the anniversary of its completion and consecration in 1843 with a mass of thanksgiving and a celebratory supper in the parish hall.
Speaking of the history of the Victorian Gothic Church, historian Christine Collins said: “This charming Victorian Gothic church is of considerable historic interest.
“Built before the restoration of the Roman Catholic hierarchy in England, which was not until 1851, St Benet’s was therefore not then part of a diocese but was known as a Mission Church and was licensed as a dissenting meeting house.
“Built on land given by the Tidmarsh family of Kemerton, it attracted a congregation not only from the Bredon Hill villages but also Tewkesbury and Cheltenham.
People in those days were prepared to travel long distances to attend mass.
“The first parish priests were from Downside and Ampleforth but for many years the resident priest has been a monk from the Benedictine Abbey of Douai, near Reading.”
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