Heritage Event at St Marie’s – Our Favourite Carols – UPDATE

Tuesday 5th December 2017. 19.30 start.

Only 10 places remain available for our upcoming “Our Favourite Carols” event.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to attend this free Christmas celebration at St Marie’s in Widnes. We’ll be talking about and singing a selection of chosen Carols which have special significance to those in attendance. It should be a lovely evening and we’ll have musical accompaniment on the night from the brilliant Peter Finney (on the organ) and from France Atherton & the Parish Choir of St Wilfrid. The words for each Carol will be provided to make it easy for everyone to join in.

As always with events put on by St Marie’s Heritage Group, there will be tea, coffee and biscuits. To make it that little bit more Christmassy, there will also be mince pies and mulled wine!

To book your place at the event, please contact Cole Toward via ctoward@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk or (01928) 592 405.

Heritage Event at St Marie’s – Our Favourite Carols

carol-3Tuesday 5th December 2017. 19.30 start.

At our recent “Our Favourite Hymns” event, we received requests from 15 different people to repeat the event, but to do it about Christmas Carols. The members of the St Marie’s Heritage Group agreed that this was a wonderful idea and that it would make for a lovely Heritage Event and Christmas celebration.

As such, on Tuesday 5th December, we will welcome former parishioners, heritage buffs & lovers of Christmas into our beautiful, atmospheric venue to discuss attendees’ favourite Christmas Carols and to sing them together.

10 attendees (who’ve volunteered in advance of the event) will explain why a certain Christmas Carol is their favourite, what it reminds them of and how it makes them feel, before everyone joins in to sing the hymn together. We are hoping that we’ll have musical accompaniment on the night from the sensational Peter Finney (on the organ) and from Frances Atherton & the Parish Choir of St Wilfrid. The words for each Carol will be provided to make it easy for everyone to join in.

St Marie’s Heritage Group volunteer, Roger Harrison will be providing his famous Mulled Wine for attendees to enjoy. There will also be mince pies alongside our always brilliant tea, coffee and biscuits.

It might be a brisk evening, but there will be hot drinks, warm smiles, familiar faces and fun conversations to bring warmth to your soul.

To book your place at the event, please contact Cole Toward via ctoward@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk or (01928) 592 405.

Places will be limited so please reserve yours early to avoid disappointment.

If you would like to be one of the 10 people to pick a Christmas Carol and talk about what it means to you, please let Cole know when you reserve your place. Favourite Carols will also be distributed on a first come, first served basis.

We hope to hear from you all soon!

Review of Our Favourite Hymns

Hymns 3 RogerFriday 8th September 2017

As part of the nationwide Heritage Open Days, the St Marie’s Heritage Group were very proud to present “Our Favourite Hymns”. 41 Former parishioners and music lovers came together to sing, talk about their favourite hymns and share memories of St Marie’s Church and school.

The hymns chosen to be discussed and sung were:Hymns 2 Room
I’ll Sing a Hymn to Mary
Faith of Our Fathers
O Bread of Heaven
Hail Glorious St Patrick
Bring Flowers of the Rarest
Causa Nostrae Laetitiae (Holiday Hymn)
Sweet Sacrament Divine
I Watch the Sunrise
Hail Queen of Heaven
Immaculate Mary

Our impromptu choir of attendees were backed in glorious fashion by Peter Finney who played the organ in St Marie’s for many years. He did a superb job.

Hymns 1 Peter

On behalf of the St Marie’s Heritage Group, may I say how grateful we are to everyone who attended. We really hope you enjoyed the evening.

Here is the feedback we collected on the night:

Any Comments?

Was there anything you particularly liked?

– I loved the way it brought back happy memories
– I liked hearing about the history of the chosen hymns
– This is the first time I have been in St Marie’s since 1958. All was good.
– Enjoyed the background information introducing the hymns. Enjoyed the local anecdotes about the use of the hymns. As an “outsider” some of the references “passed me by” a little.
– Loved meeting people I hadn’t seen for a long time. Loved the hymns.
– Enjoyed the evening very much.
– Although not a St Marie’s Church goer, was made very welcome. Enjoyed the singing, but better if stood (even for a few). Beautiful building and very impressed with restoration but pity it is no longer used as a church.
– I loved everything. Beautiful hymns. Feeling of community and of course, the chance to be back in our beautiful St Marie’s Church.
– Enjoyed singing the hymns I remember from childhood. Would have liked to sing standing? To project voice, otherwise a memorable evening.
– I liked listening to people’s memories of various hymns.
– Loved the chance to sing these beautiful hymns
– A lovely evening
– A enjoyable evening. You could not have chosen better hymns.
– Good variety of hymns selected. Thoroughly enjoyed the evening and meeting people from St Marie’s. Brings back memories being at St M’s girls and was married at St M’s Nuptial Mass 1964.
– The choice of hymns was lovely – pity we didn’t have more time for others. The introduction of each hymn was very interesting and appropriate. A very enjoyable evening. Thank you.
– Chatting and reminiscing about school days
– Very friendly night
– All of it.
– Loved all the hymns. Brings back so many memories!!
– I enjoyed every hymn
– I did like the community singing but sadly I didn’t think our poor voices did justice to the beautiful hymns in such beautiful surroundings. It would have been lovely to have a choir to lead the singing.
– Good MC – Enthusiasm counts for a lot
– Memories of our family’s life in Newtown and St Marie’s Church was the heart of our community
– Singing of the hymns
– The friendliness of everyone.

Was there anything you particularly disliked?

– A microphone would be very useful.
– Again, problems with sound. Needs better publicity.
– Advertise more. I only heard by hearsay.

Any ideas for future Heritage Events at St Marie’s?

– More of the same. Please.
– I would like to invite some young people to listen to how life was for young people in St Marie’s many years ago and how different they feel school days are now.
– An evening of hymn or music based on the seasons (Easter, Lent, Christmas etc) with wider denominations contributions.
– Choir concert, music event
– Christmas Carol Event in December
– Christmas Carols
– Christmas Carols
– Christmas Carol Concert
– Christmas Carol Concert! Discussion groups to talk about their memories of church/school days.
– Christmas Carols
– Christmas Carols/Nativity Play
– Another Carol Concert – couldn’t make the last one. 
– Lots of hymns to go at. So another event of the same would go down very well.
– Christmas Carol Service
– Christmas Carols
– Christmas Carol Service
– A Christmas Carol Service.

Heritage Event at St Marie’s – Our Favourite Hymns

carol-1Friday 8th September 2017. 19.30 start.

Free places are still available for our next Heritage Event at St Marie’s.

As part of the 2017 “Heritage Open Days” (which will take place across the country between the 7th and 10th of September), the St Marie’s Heritage Group are planning a special event. We will welcome former parishioners, heritage buffs & lovers of singing into our beautiful, atmospheric venue to discuss attendees’ favourite hymns and to sing them together.

10 attendees (who’ve volunteered in advance of the event) will explain why a certain hymn is their favourite, what it reminds them of and how it makes them feel, before everyone joins in to sing the hymn together.

Is there a certain hymn that you of going to school at St Marie’s? Or one that was sung on your wedding day? Perhaps you remember a specific hymn that always sounded beautiful when the congregation at St Marie’s sang it together?

As always, tea, coffee & biscuits will be available and there will be plenty of time to see familiar faces and catch up with old friends.

To book your place at the event, please contact Matthew Roberts via mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk or (01928) 592 405.

Places will be limited so please reserve yours early to avoid disappointment.

If you would like to be one of the 10 people to pick a hymn and talk about what it means to you, please let us know. Favourite Hymns will also be distributed on a first come, first served basis.

We hope to hear from you all soon!

Update: Our Favourite Hymns

Hi everyone,

As you may have previously read on our website, the St Marie’s Heritage Group will be hosting a special event on Friday 8th September 2017 (with a 19.30 start).

It’s called Our Favourite Hymns. We hope that 10 attendees at the event will say a few words about their favourite hymn before we all join together to sing them.

To help us prepare for the event, we asking people who book places if they have a favourite hymn that they would like to talk about on the night.

Hopefully we’ll have 10 different hymns selected before the event!

Here are the hymns chosen so far (I’ll keep updating this post as selections are made):

Nora Lowe – ‘Hail Queen of Heaven, the Ocean Star’
Ann Cuerden – ‘Bring Flowers of the Rarest – Queen of the May’
Veronica O’Connor – ‘Immaculate Mary’
Jane Bentham – ‘I’ll Sing a Hymn to Mary’
Peter Finney – ‘Bread of Heaven’
Mary Booth – ‘The Holiday Hymn’

To book your place, please contact me via mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk or (01928) 592 405.

Many thanks,

Matthew Roberts

Heritage Event at St Marie’s – Our Favourite Hymns

carol-2Friday 8th September 2017. 19.30 start.

As part of the 2017 “Heritage Open Days” (which will take place across the country between the 7th and 10th of September), the St Marie’s Heritage Group are planning a special event. We will welcome former parishioners, heritage buffs & lovers of singing into our beautiful, atmospheric venue to discuss attendees’ favourite hymns and to sing them together.

10 attendees (who’ve volunteered in advance of the event) will explain why a certain hymn is their favourite, what it reminds them of and how it makes them feel, before everyone joins in to sing the hymn together.

Is there a certain hymn that you of going to school at St Marie’s? Or one that was sung on your wedding day? Perhaps you remember a specific hymn that always sounded beautiful when the congregation at St Marie’s sang it together?

As always, tea, coffee & biscuits will be available and there will be plenty of time to see familiar faces and catch up with old friends.

To book your place at the event, please contact Matthew Roberts via mroberts@haltonsthelensvca.org.uk or (01928) 592 405.

Places will be limited so please reserve yours early to avoid disappointment.

If you would like to be one of the 10 people to pick a hymn and talk about what it means to you, please let us know. Favourite Hymns will also be distributed on a first come, first served basis.

We hope to hear from you all soon!

Review of May Procession Reminiscence Event

May 17 the Queens

Former May Queens

The St Marie’s Heritage Group were delighted to welcome former parishioners back into St Marie’s for a recent May Procession Reminiscence Event.

The event proved to be a great success as attendees swapped anecdotes about the various roles they had during processions, the clothes that they wore and the sacrifices their families made so that they could join in. A few hymns were sung too and there was a great deal of laughter and conversation.

Perhaps more importantly, the event provided guests with the opportunity to see old friends & acquaintances and come together over a cup of tea and chocolate hobnob.

Incredibly, the event saw the reuniting of the 1947 May Queen (Ann Newton) and her Train Bearer (Dan Moran) a mere 70 years after their procession (see photo below).

May 17 Dan and Ann Newton

The St Marie’s Heritage Group decided prior to the event to only promote it through the Parish Newsletter. This was because we’d had a few recent events which had “sold out” within 24 hours of being promoted online. People would read about them in the Parish Newsletter and then feel frustrated to find out the events were already full. We will return to promoting events online in future though.

Thanks very much to everyone who attended (especially the volunteers from The St Marie’s Heritage Group). We hope you enjoyed the event as much as we did.

Here’s the feedback we collected on the day:

Was there anything you particularly liked?

– Was a great afternoon.
– Roger’s delivery and bringing together the many aspects of this topic.
– Lovely, memorable day. Met my May Queen after 70 years! Special.
– Very fulfilling event. Bringing back lots of happy memories and meeting people who have been in the Parish of St Marie’s in the early years.
– It was lovely to firstly come into my old church and to recall happy memories of school days. People spoke about their recollections. A truly magical event.
– Everything was wonderful and I felt a tear in my eye.
– I very much enjoyed listening to everyone else’s memories.
– Bringing back such lovely memories and meeting old friends.
– Nice to get a cup of tea.
– Most enjoyable seeing all old photos from the past. First visit back to St Marie’s since it closed. Lovely afternoon.
– Memories.
– Sharing photographs. Igniting memories. Thank you.
– Made very welcome. Lovely stories.
– It was lovely to reminisce and brought lots of happy memories, nice to meet school friends.
– Really enjoyed meeting people who I haven’t seen for years, especially as I was May Queen in 1946 and met up with one of the train bearers, Danny Moran.
– It was lovely to reminisce and brought back lots of happy memories. It was the first event I have attended but will definitely return.
– It was nice to hear forgotten memories.
– Almost like having a family get-together, rekindling memories of St Marie’s.
– I particularly liked the events of the matron of Honour and Queen and the Boys, dress up as well, in white pants and shirts.
– It was a very enjoyable afternoon meeting old friends I had not seen for many years and brought back many happy memories.
– Meeting people
– Loved everything especially photos
– The photographs. Discussions.
– I enjoyed the event listening to everyone’s stories.
– Hearing stories of what went on in the background. IE Having dresses made, being chosen as a May Queen, Pages etc.
– Meeting old friends from school days and seeing the way some had changed and others I recognised immediately.
– Meeting people who you haven’t seen for a while, and enjoy thinking about times gone by.
– Enjoyed meeting old friends. I loved looking at all the photos and listening to all the speakers.
– Lovely to see old friends again.
– Very good.
– Group and individual contributions were very interesting and brought back lots of memories of what it was like to be part of the May processions at St Marie’s, Widnes. Great discussions. It was lovely to see people who you hadn’t seen for years and photographs were a great help for this.
– Looking at all the old photographs from the processions (all black & white) and listening to all the comments.
– I enjoyed it very much.

Was there anything you particularly disliked?

No responses.

Any ideas for future Heritage Events at St Marie’s?

– Maybe. A microphone!!!
– More of the same. It’s important to keep the memories of St Marie’s alive.
– More events of the same.
– More aspects of school life in St Marie’s
– We need to carry on in the future with these meetings. Very enjoyable.
– Christmas event – carols
– Carol concert

May 17 the Room

Roger welcomes attendees to the event

May 17 Roger and Queens

Roger interviews 4 former May Queens

May 17 Mary Queen Walk

Mary shows us the official “May Queen Walk”

May 17 Peter & Roger

Moving the statue of Our Lady proved a challenge for Peter & Roger.