We're nearly there - these doors between the church and the new narthex will be open to the parish and the wider public for the first time on Thursday evening.
Bishop Michael is coming to bless the new building, and we will also be joined by other priests, including Fr Chris Loughran, whose initiative this project was, and Fr Michael Lakeland, parish priest of St Clare's for 26 years - more than half of its history to date!
The liturgy begins at 7pm and follows the format of Vespers (Evening Prayer of the Church): after the psalms, the children from our primary school will share with us the story of Jacob’s ladder, then sing Mary’s great song of praise, the Magnificat. Then the Bishop and assisting priests will enter the narthex to say the prayers of blessing, before returning to the church for the final prayers and hymn.
At the end of the liturgy, the congregation will be able to enter the Narthex, a first chance for most people to visit the extension and take a look at this wonderful new space. Once the outside work is completely finished, it will then be in use as the main entrance to the church, hopefully for many decades to come.
After the liturgy there will be food and drink available in the parish hall, where there will also be a timelapse video showing the demolition of the porch and construction of the narthex, as well as some images from the building work over the last few months.
Please do come along on Thursday night, and take your part in this wonderful moment in the life of our parish. It is a little piece of parish history being made!