St Mary's, Chippenham Celebrates 150 Years

St Mary's Church, Chippenham, celebrated its 150th anniversary with a Mass and a special lunch on Sunday 4 September.

The Mass was concelebrated by Bishop Declan Lang, Father Desmond Millett (who has been Parish Priest of St Mary's for 19 years), Monsignor Richard Twomey (from Holy Rood, Swindon) and Father Anthony Fejer (a priest of the Clifton Diocese who has worked extensively in Wiltshire).

Other special guests for the celebration included Chippenham Mayor - Councillor John Scragg, the Poor Servants of the Mother of God Sisters - Sister Elizabeth, Sister Joseph, Sister Hilda, Sister Gabriel, and Father David Mills from Calne. One of St Mary’s parishioners, Councillor Harry Purdon was the Mayor's escort for the day.

The Mass was attended by a large number of St Mary's parishioners and the Church was full to capacity. St Mary's organist, Matthew Hause, wrote some of the hymns as well as writing the Chippenham Mass Setting to commemorate St Mary's special event.

The Mass was followed by a buffet lunch at the Angel Hotel, Chippenham. The day was bright and sunny and the atmosphere at the Mass and lunch was relaxed and joyful. Several Parishioners mentioned that it felt like a family gathering.

It was a happy day for St Mary's which will be remembered for a long time.

Martha Wright