The Bank Holiday Monday dawned bright and sunny, and promised the possibility of a really good days' work.
Mass was celebrated at 10 am on this, the feast of St. Philip Neri, and then the work began.
Unfortunately no photographs were taken before we started, so the huge amount of rubbish collected and disposed of will never be seen! Furthermore the group photo below was taken towards the very end of the day when a number of workers had already had to go on to 'pastures new'. So the worthy band shown below is but part of the greater whole.
There was a great deal to be done both in front of the church, in the sacristy and in and behind the church hall.
Fr. Dennis "invited" Pat Courtney (centre of the picture with the spade draped nonchalantly across his shoulder!) to co-ordinate the working party, which he was happy to do.
Fr Dennis and Michael Conway De Waterford disappeared ........... but were later discovered not 'bunking-off' but re-hanging the blinds in the hall and throwing out the accumulated rubbish from the sacristy.
Work progressed well, the lawnmowers went over the grounds twice, such was the growth of grass, and the flower beds began to look more presentable. It was even possibe to see the flowers again(!) so long hidden behind a wall of weeds.
The Statue of Our Lady became a temporary staging post for the odd can of soft drink, I'm afraid ............. but I feel sure she would not have objected! At least now we can see her in all her beauty!Wherever you turned there were people at work.
The trees were cut back and the grass mowed underneath, the paths were cleared of weeds and Bernadette Forde (in the pink with the attractive white hat!) was asked to pop over the road to purchase the strongest weed killer she could find.
The pile of rubbish sacks on the right hand side of this picture shows only a tiny amount of the debris collected throughout the day.
At 12.30 pm a halt was called for a well deserved breather and some light refreshments.
Sandwiches had been provided and the fridge was well stocked with beer and soft drinks, and for the more discerning palate their was a fine glass of wine!
Two splendid cakes had also been brought down to the hall and it was not long before everyone was enjoying a well deserved bite to eat and some convivial company.
A day like this is great for getting to know one another and helps to build the sort of happy and thriving community that we are blessed with here at St Gregory the Great.
Eventually the whip had to be cracked to get us all back to work!
Behind the church hall the 'garden' had been completely taken over by a splendid array of nettles. Young Chris with a sturdy strimmer and loads of entusiasm, began the hard task of clearing them away. The task was not an easy one and thankfully he was soon joined by some others workers to finish the job.
Once they had all been cut away a large redundant fibre glass pond, which was lying out there as well, was used to carry them out to the dumping ground for everything that could not be bagged up and taken away to the dump.
We now possess an extensive compost heap in the corner of the church car park which will eventually produce plenty of useful material for the flower beds.
The flower bed in the front garden of the church received a good deal of loving care and attention. Even the sleepers around the border were repainted giving them a new lease of life.
Some new plants were added and the whole bed is once again a delightful focus in the front garden.
It's rumoured that Fr Dennis would like to see a fine statue there one day!
The weather held fine throughout the day and eventually everyone made their way home. It was a great day and thoroughly enjoyable.
The rest of this web page is devoted to few more photographs of "the workers". What a wonderful team they were. Thank you all for coming out, thank you also to those who provided the refreshments, and thank you to the many other members of the congregation who said they would have loved to have come along but were unable to do so this time.
I have no doubt there will be many more opportunities in the future.
We do need to keep the grounds in good order, so let's try and get a team set up so that we can do it on a regular basis. Speak to Fr Dennis about it and we'll get it under way.
Bank Holiday Monday - Photos