In addition to the Church in Newent we also have a mass centre at Blaisdon Village Hall.
The community that meets round the Eucharistic Table in Blaisdon Village Hall each Sunday is very open and welcoming.
We have a reputation for producing great music and for getting involved in matters of justice and peace (CAFOD).
We are also involved in Fair Trade and in giving practical help to genuine asylum seekers.
The Blaisdon community – when the Salesians left Blaisdon Hall in 1993, Fr Aidan moved into Dairy Cottage, in the village of Blaisdon and became priest-in-charge of Blaisdon and Newent. We held services in the parish church in the village, an arrangement which had been very generously offered by the Anglican community who had an earlier service. It didn’t really suit us very well with a lively children’s group who needed a separate space, and no loos or facilities for making coffee, so after some discussion we decided to move to the village hall and have been there ever since.
Some of our most important activities include-
The annual Advent weekend retreat at Nympsfield convent. This has been happening for more than 30 years and we are on to the second generation of parishioners, with ‘original’ parishioners, children and grandchildren looking forward to it every year. This will continue for the foreseeable future.
The Passover meal, held each year on the Wednesday before Easter in aid of Cafod.
Farewell lunch for Father John, Farewell Mass for Blaisdon
Sunday 2nd September marks the end of an era for Blaisdon. Since the Salesians arrived in the village in the 1930’s, Mass has been said here almost every Sunday of the year but this was the final regular one.
Fr John has been with us all for just a year but he will be greatly missed. Every week his homilies have inspired and challenged us, gently but insistently, to follow Jesus’ way of doing things – with love and honesty, from the heart rather than a rule-bound approach.
The village hall was full and the singing could probably heard up at The Hall (where the Salesian school used to be) and down at the Red Hart. For the offertory, the congregation was asked to write the names of people who have been an important part of our history, the family and friends who have passed on or moved away, onto slips of paper which were put into our beautiful ‘font’ bowl and brought to the altar. We finished with ‘You shall go out with joy’.
At the end of the service gifts were given to Fr John; Gail Ebsworth presented a stole, Mary Foylan a voucher and Franny Smith a Nigerian football shirt, as modelled in the photo.
The multiplying of loaves and fishes seemed to have been at work with a fantastic spread for lunch, thank you to everyone who contributed!
The community of our Blaisdon congregation is not large and is geographically quite widely spread. Fr Barnabas has kindly agreed to say Mass once a month for us on the first Friday evenings. As Fr John mentioned in his farewell, we are a very ecumenical family and we have a strong desire to maintain our family links, so in future we will still meet on Sundays at the village hall at 11am for non-Eucharistic worship.
Fr John’s Farewell