Wednesday 27th June 2018 marked 25 years since our National Chaplains Ordination to the Priesthood. The Parishioners of St Mary's and St Mark's turned out in large numbers to celebrate this fantastic milestone.
The evening started with Mass at St Mary's Church, Swinton, with presentations...and drinks... taking place at St Mark's Parish Hall, Pendlebury.
Mass was fantastic, the homily by Father Peter Hopkins VG (Salford Diocese) was one of the best I have witnessed, a laugh and cry story about Father Barry on his travels which linked beautifully to the message of the Gospel. Children from St Mary's and St Mark's formed the choir and performed "The Spirit of the Lord" by John Michael Talbot, the same song sang at Father Barry's Ordination. The children had very limited time to practice the hymn but they did a fantastic job.
Deacon was ex-Cheshire Police Officer, and CPG member, Rev. Tony Hunt (Shrewsbury Diocese). Assisting at the altar was Canon. Michael Cooke VG and Canon Paul Bridle, Provost. Notable guests included former Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy QPM and Merseyside Police Chief Constable Andrew Cooke QPM. Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins QPM could not attend but left a message that was read by CPG Secretary Retired Superintendent Donna Allen. I had the privilege of giving a speech and presenting Father Barry with a gift from the CPG, an engraved decanter which can be seen in the photograph above.
Father Barry has been our National Chaplain for five years and we are very lucky to have him. The commitment and stability he brings is a major factor in our recent success with growing membership and greater event attendance. It is an honour and a privilege to call him my friend.