Parishioners young and old of St Edmund Campion Roman Catholic church in Altwood Road, Maidenhead, gathered last Friday for a pot luck supper to celebrate the opening of their newly extended and refurbished Parish Centre. The ribbon was cut by Hannah Foster, aged 6, after which parish priest Fr. 'Pepe' Claveria blessed the centre and gave a short speech outlining how the plan for the centre had come about 2½ years ago, and then came to fruition with the generous help of many people in the parish, starting with a wide consultation as to the scope of the project.
Others were involved in interior design, layout planning and then managing the 3 month build project. Started in September 2016, it was finished in time just before Christmas and is already in almost daily use. The decision to go ahead brought much debate within the parish as to the justification of the project. Having seen the finished results visitors over the past few weeks are almost unanimous in their praise as to how the finished centre looks.
Fr. Pepe said "Many people helped and great thanks must go to the managers of the project, our dear Richard Foster RIP and George Alcorn. Without their contribution, the whole thing would not have been possible. The purpose of this whole project has been and is to support what really counts here: that people can gather in the name of Christ and feel His presence among us. The beauty of a venue is not a condition for God to be with us, but beauty helps us to realise His presence."
The people of of St Edmund Campion are involved in a very wide range of community support and development activities, here in Maidenhead as well as in the UK and overseas. The centre provides a place for people to meet, share and plan, to have a coffee and tea after church services, and for community groups such as Mums and Toddlers. It is also a great venue for community social activities and is available for external hire when not in use by the parish.