The Catholic parish of St Peter?s in West Swindon has parishioners from a huge number of countries, writes Robert Barrett.
The annual gathering to celebrate unity in diversity with a Mass took place on 6 November, followed by a bring-and-share meal. The Mayor of Swindon Ray Fisher and his wife Christine joined peoples from all parts of Africa, Asia and European countries.
Fr Michael Saunders concelebrated Mass with Fr Bosco Lobo from Goa in India. Welcomes were given in half a dozen languages, intercessions were offered in as many again and the congregation sang in more languages than any of us knew. It all sounded very good. The idea was that everyone should hear their own language at least once.
Fr Michael said a large section of the Mass in Latin before three choirs taken from parishioners from Africa, the Philippines and India sang in their own languages.
Over 300 people attended the Mass and a large number of them came into the Parish Centre afterwards for a magnificent meal with dishes from everywhere. Kenyans ate haggis and the Irish tried curries much hotter than they were used to. Everyone considered the event a huge success. The Mayor and his wife were among the very last to go. It was great to have them with us.
Lots of people worked hard to create the event but special mention should be made of Melba Sheffield and Suzanne Bullimore. We owe them our sincere thanks.