I was recently approached by representatives of Laing O’Rourke - the construction firm working on the new St. James’ Centre – asking if we would consider renting the Parish Hall to them for the remainder of the construction period because they are desperately short of space. Their proposal was forwarded to the Parish Council, the Finance and Hall Committees and the Archdiocesan Trustees, and after some intense negotiations, it was decided to accept. The Hall will, therefore, be rented to Laing O’Rourke for the next 30 months. The café-space and the toilets will remain exclusively for the use of the Cathedral, and the Cathedral will have use of kitchen on Sundays for teas and coffees. In addition to this the Cathedral will have use of the Hall for all our major events: SVDP events, Parish Socials, School events, and events like ordinations, the Red Mass and the Festival Mass. The deal will allow the Cathedral to invest in much needed fabric work on Cathedral properties, we still get to use the Hall, and importantly it buys us a period of time while we consider how best to use this extremely valuable space once the new St. James’ Centre is open. In addition, they will not use the hall on Saturday afternoon or Sundays, so that to all intents and purposes most parishioners will hardly notice the change. Laing O’Rourke will move in next week. To the extent that you are aware of them, I hope you will make them very welcome.
A huge “Thank You” to those who organise Teas and Coffees
Teas and coffees after Mass are now suspended for the summer. I would like to say a huge thank you to the small group of volunteers who have nobly given up their time to provide this wonderful service and who have kept things going through thick and thin. We wish them a good rest and look forward to teas and coffees after Mass again after the summer.
Fr Patrick, Fr Jamie, and Deacon Peter