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The Augustinian Recollects say goodbye to the parish of English Martyrs in London


The Augustinian Recollects say goodbye to the parish of English Martyrs in London
16-10-2016 Gran Bretaña
For thirty-one years the Augustinian Recollects have served God’s people in this parish, near to Wembley Stadium in North-East London. It is a zone of great ethnic variety with dozens of cultures and every type of social situation.
On the day of Saint Augustine of Hippo 2016 the last Eucharist as thanksgiving was celebrated, marking the end of the process of handing over the Parish of English Martyrs to the care of Westminster Diocese. This was done by the Province of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine of the Augustinian Recollects after thirty-one years of service.

The Eucharist was presided by John Sherrington, auxiliary Bishop of Westminster Diocese, in charge of one of the Catholic boroughs in which the urban area of London is divided into. Together with various priests from the deanery, several Augustinian Recollects that have participated throughout these thirty-one years in the care of the parish were present: Francisco Umendía, Sean Flannery, Gerald Wilson, Mark Powell y Hugh Corrigan. Also present was the Augustinian Recollect Gerardo Cortés, who forms part of the Latin American Chaplaincy in London.

With an abundant participation from the members of the parish, the celebration was carried out in an atmosphere of warmth, joy and nostalgia. During the homily Bishop Sherrington thanked the hard work of the Augustinian Recollects and his words recalled the Augustinian Recollect charisma:

Saint Augustine, who inspired the Augustinian Recollects, centres his attention on the role of grace and that of mercy, as has Pope Francis also centred our attention on the gift of God’s mercy. The Pope has also, at times, reflected on this mercy of God in the life of the Church and in the life of the sacraments. The Augustinian Recollects, inspired to reform within the Order of Saint Augustine, dedicated themselves particularly to the contemplation of God’s love and to living this love in community,and acting with love in the Missions. In this way you have received the gift of this charisma, the present of this love which has been transmitted here during these thirty-one years, and for this we give thanks to God”.

At the end of the celebration some refreshments were enjoyed and enjoyable conversations were had with the parish community, which whilst seeming like a goodbye left the impression of mutual warm feelings and affection.

The Parish of English Martyrs in Wembley Park was established in 1930 and the Augustinian Recollects arrived there on the 1st of February 1985. The faithful are a very heterogeneous group made up of dozens of nationalities and every type of social background.

It is based in the most multicultural district in Great Britain, that of Brent (256,000 inhabitants) in the North of the capital. Amongst the inhabitants there are large areas of Bangladeshis, Caribbeans, Africans, Chinese, Indians, Pakistanis, Irish and South-Asians. Only 31% of the population are of English descent.

The Church, of circular shape and of certain architectural significance, was built in 1969 and consecrated in 1981 and has a capacity of about three hundred and fifty people. The most notable feature is the fifty-five meters of coloured stained glass windows by the Maltese artist Carmel Cauchi, with scenes of the eighteen English Catholic martyred patron saints.

The borough of Brent, made up of twelve parishes, serves a variety of pastoral activities with teachers, gypsies, the mentally ill and the ecumenical movement. The parish also collaborates in the Catholic School St. Margaret Clitherow, with some two hundred and forty students,and makes use of catechists to prepare for the reception of the sacraments. It also functions as a centre for San Vicente de Paul, the Bethany Group and the Saint Joseph’s centre for the mentally ill, as well as other youth groups.

In March 2010, on celebrating the twenty five years of presence of the Augustinian Recollects in the Parish, the Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols blessed a new crucifix. This is now a permanent sign of the Recollect presence in the parish.


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Augustinian Recollects. Province of St. Nicholas of Tolentine. Paseo de la Habana, 167, 28036, Madrid, Spain. Telephone: 913 453 460. CIF(fiscal registration number): R-2800087-E. Entered in the Register of Religious Organizations, of the Ministry of Justice, number 1398-a-SE/B. Privacy policy.
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