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St. Mary Magdalen's
Catholic Church
Willesden Green
London NW10
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Monday, June 11, 2007
ST FRANCIS OF ASSISI, FLEETWOOD RD IN USE AGAIN
As you may know our increasing local community of Polish Catholics has recently been loaned St Francis of Assisi Anglican Church between Dollis hill tube station and Gladstone Park for two years, increasing possibly to five. They had their first Mass there on Maundy Thursday last, the first Christian service in the property for about five years.

This is a moving moment of ecumenical cooperation. Coming up to five hundred years ago the Roman Catholic Church in England lost most of its Churches to the reformed community. Now the Anglican diocese of London has very kindly allowed a Eucharist community in communion with Rome to take it over. We congratulate the lively, committed, flourishing Catholic community from Poland. We are confident that the graces received from this providential development will flow into our own community of St Mary Magdalen’s.

Many Poles have come to our land following Poland’s entry into the European Community. Those in North West London could not be accommodated in their small Walm Lane Chapel. Fr Scott Anderson, Vicar of St Andrews and St Francis, has commented that “I was happy to see so many people attend Easter celebration from the surrounding area and am assured that we did the right thing in giving the church to the Polish community.” Fr George Bialek, the Parish priest of the North West London Polish parish commented “We could never pray together as a whole (at Walm Lane) … now we can turn to all our brothers and sisters and offer the sign of peace”

A member of the Polish community, Iwona Minor, has written a letter to our community that will be published in a forthcoming Magdala. In it she tells us of the Maundy Thursday Mass: “The time finally arrived. The congregation began to arrive and slowly fill the flower scented church. This was our church. The emotion felt by everyone was overwhelming. At 6.50pm the church bell rang. Tears of joy and pride welled up in everyone’s eyes. This was truly a spiritual home-coming.

“Each part of the celebration was filled with emotion, spirituality and gratitude. Everything seemed perfect from the altar servers to the beautifully scented flower arrangements. Could this get any better? When mass was ended people stayed in and around the church not wanting to retire to their homes, an amazing experience.”

posted by Sinead Reekie at 9:40 am