Bideford Catholic Churches

The Knights of St Columba Centenery 2018

Knights' Centenary Celebration 2018

On Friday June 22nd 2018 the Knights of St Columba held their Centenary Celebration at the Parish Church of The Sacred Heart, Bideford.

A 55-minute glorious sung Mass of Thanksgiving was followed by a Barbecue in the Church garden, the latter by ticket.  The Church was packed for the Mass: about half each of Barnstaple and Bideford parishioners.  Fr Ralph Candy celebrated and preached, Fr John Conroy concelebrated, Deacon John Connors was on the altar and proclaimed the Gospel, and there were altar servers in vestments and a thurifer.  Altogether a most moving experience.

Fr Ralph spoke a lot about the Knights in his homily.  Then we went to the garden which has a large, almost flat lawn, around which had been placed chairs.  The food was ready very quickly and was delicious.  There was a very well-supported raffle for this year's three Knights' charities, among which was W.O.R.K.   which many parishioners support, i.e. Widows & Orphans in Rural Kenya.

There were lots of good prizes and it was fun: many people went home with a bottle or other treat.  It was a good opportunity for Bideford and Barnstaple parishioners to mix and to enjoy each other's company, and everyone seemed happy.

We were blessed with bright sunshine throughout.  Thanks are due to the Knights of St Columba and to Fr Ralph Candy for hosting such a lovely event.  I think it will have raised a good amount for the three charities.  As Fr Ralph explained to us, the Knights are a Confraternity of Catholic men.  They will always give a very warm welcome to any Catholic man who feels an interest in what they do, and are open to all such.  It is a credit to them that they are still here after 100 years in the area.

Many thanks to all involved and to the no doubt many hard workers 'behind the scenes', who made such a great day to remember.

Kathie Salter (Barnstaple).