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On Friday 20th July, we had a fantastic Mass at St Mary’s Church, Bath, followed by an enormous, happy party in the Parish Centre to celebrate Fr Jeremy’s Ruby Jubilee. Mass was concelebrated by Fr Jeremy, Bishop Declan, Emeritus Bishop Crispian Hollis and twenty five other priests, who all squeezed onto the sanctuary. Fr Jeremy’s relatives and the parish family were joined by many of his former parishioners from Holy Family Swindon, as well as ones from Cheltenham and Bristol. The children from St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Bath sang “Splash!”, Fr Jeremy’s favourite “school” song, written by teacher Steve Gailor. The huge and delicious feast in the parish centre was provided by parishioners who had been asked to sign up to bake food, and Pimms and wine flowed like the proverbial stream. Fr Jeremy was very touched and amused by a surprise “This is your Life” slideshow of photos that played continually on the large screens in the parish centre, as well as an impromptu flash-mob style rendition of “A Song for Father Jeremy”, sung to the tune of “Bread of Heaven” and written by Fiona Bell. It was wonderful to see Fr Jeremy look so happy and relaxed on his special day, and wonderful too that so many of us were able to show and tell him how much we value his many gifts and that we want to support him in his vocation.

“Father Jeremy! Father Jeremy! Give this man sincere three cheers! Give this man sincere three cheers!”

Charlotte Boyall

Photos: Tony McAteer

Bath St Marys Fr Jeremy Rigden 40th Anniversary

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