Saint Leonard’s Hosts the Chrism Mass

On the Monday of Holy Week, the 26th March 2018, Saint Leonard’s Parish Church in Loftus hosted one of the two annual Chrism Masses held in the Diocese of York!

After months of planning and preparations, a congregation of over over one hundred people witnessed this special Holy Week service, when pure olive oil is blest and consecrated for use by the clergy in the parishes of the Diocese of York.

The service was led by the Bishop of Beverley, who was assisted by the Bishop of Whitby, and the sermon was preached by the Lord Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu.  The music was coordinated by Mr Richard Bendelow, and Saint Leonard’s Church Choir ably led the hymns, the sung responses as well as singing two excellent anthems during the course of the service.

After the Chrism Mass in Saint Leonard’s Parish Church, a sumptuous buffet lunch was served in Loftus Town Hall and a time of fellowship was enjoyed with clergy and people from across the Diocese of York and beyond, with some clergy and people coming from as far away as Hull, Scarborough and even Bishop Auckland in County Durham!

Father Adam Gaunt, Rector of Loftus-in-Cleveland, said, “It was a great honour for us to host this special Holy Week service in Loftus and I am delighted that all our visitors had such a positive experience of Loftus on this wonderful occasion.  This was also an historic occasion, as no one can remember there being three bishops at Saint Leonard’s Church Loftus at the same time!  I wish to thank the Mayor of Loftus for attending the service to represent the wider town and community of Loftus, the children our of excellent church choir who did themselves proud, and to the people of Saint Leonard’s who pulled together to prepare Saint Leonard’s Church for the service and the food for our excellent lunch.”