The Saving Word, 20 June 2004
Reply to Open Letter
I note the points made in your open letter of 10th June, 2004. Not everyone in the parish agrees with your views on the carpets and the desirability for an austere church.
I disagree that any changes made to the church including the carpets are ostentatious in any way. Any changes made to the church have been to work towards a dignified and spiritual environment in which all are welcome and find spiritual uplifting. I, personally, and many others to whom I have spoken find the church, as it is, very depressing.
It is not true that the poor, disposed and disempowered are not comfortable in an environment of simple dignified beauty. They deserve the best we can provide. I hope to provide this over time.
I challenge the view that the carpet is inconsistent with the past experience of the parish. I have viewed a video of the church 20 years ago. Certainly the church was is a much more dignified state then including floor covering under the altar.
I was appointed Parish Priest to care for all people of the area as well as those who choose to St. Vincent’s as their parish. I cannot neglect the local people and would be highly irresponsible of me to suggest to them that they should go to some other parish. The so called "Community" is not the parish and if it wishes to continue to be part of St Vincent’s parish it must co-operate with me and Fr. Dennis and others of the parish.