Anonymous donations keeps Chessington church consecration dream alive
A Catholic church has received anonymous donations worth thousands of pounds enabling it to keep its consecration dream alive.
The consecration of a church is the solemn dedication of a building to its religious purpose and is associated with all sacred furniture becoming permanent on the site.
After more than 40 years at its current location, the Saint Catherine of Siena Roman Catholic Church in Leatherhead Road, Chessington, has begun a long-term fundraising venture to fast-track its consecration process.
The church, which has anonymously received £25,000 to kick-start its programme, is now on the road to consecration.
Father Peter Jenner, who has been serving as a priest at the church for five years, said: “This is quite a big thing for a parish church.
“These people are genuinely saying we love this church and we want to see its consecration completed –for some of them it has been their life’s work and they are willing to put their hands into their own pockets.
“We are not talking about people who have a large amount of money; these are ordinary people in our community.”
The consecration process, which is in its early stages, hopes to change the current altar, which is temporary and moveable. It will eventually be replaced with a more permanent fixture made from materials such as concrete or marble.
Father Jenner said: “In order to make a permanent altar we will need to look at our foundations. I can’t say exactly how much it is all going to cost but it will be in the tens of thousands.”
He also commended the worshipping community at the church and said he was excited about the consecration process, which has now begun.
As part of the fundraising initiative churchgoer David Clune ran the London marathon and raised more than £1,300 to add to the consecration kitty.
The church will also be hosting fundraising activities such as quiz nights, dances and fairs to bulk up the consecration fund throughout the year.
Regular churchgoer and fundraiser Cecilia Suarez, 73, said: “We are finishing something that was started years ago.
“There are many hurdles to overcome and we will need support from many quarters.
“This consecration is very meaningful.”