Re-opening of St Patrick’s Church Bradford took place On Saturday 5 October Bishop Marcus did formally re-open St Patrick’s with a concelebrated Mass starting at 12.00 noon. Earlier there will be Benediction at 10.00 am and the praying of the Rosary at 11.00 am.
Built-in 1853 it is the oldest Catholic church in the city and a few years back seemed destined for closure such was its state of disrepair. But two things happened to make Saturday’s events possible: Bishop Marcus’ own commitment to establishing a center for evangelization and service to the poor in Bradford and the arrival in the city of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, enabling this Mission Church to become once again a place of prayer and worship and a place of outreach and of hospitality for all.
The Bishop paid tribute to the long history of St Patrick’s, the priests who had served there in the past, and the people for whom it had been their family’s spiritual home over many generations. But he emphasised that the re-opening and the concelebrated Mass were about the future and the important role envisaged for the church in the life of the Catholic community and the city of Bradford. Members of that same community turned out in force and a large congregation filled the church to take part in the Mass and then afterward to enjoy the kind of hospitality for which the Friars are renowned. It was an occasion to share memories of times past, to thank all those whose support had made the restoration and re-opening of St Patrick’s possible, and to look ahead to the mission that the church seeks to fulfill in the years ahead.