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Opening of the present church

Opening of St Mary's Church, July 2nd 1940

On the 2nd July 1940, the newly built church of St Mary's and the presbytery opened. Over 700 people attended the service; with the church only seating 300, many had to hear the service outside. Fr Michael Fitzpatrick was the priest who worked tirelessly to raise the money to see the church built. The total cost was £11,000, with over £900 being raised by the parishioners themselves. Work started on the church in 1939, and although World War II commenced that year, the church building work went on.

A couple of weeks after the official opening, a party for the parishioners was held at the Drill Hall in Glastonbury. Here, Fr Michael was thanked for all his hard work in raising the money for the church and he was presented with furniture for his new home. Also, various items were presented to the church, including the altar and stained glass window in the Lady chapel in memory of the late Miss D'Abreu (former boarder in the convent). The window in the Sacred Heart chapel was donated by Mr Gilmer, a jeweller from Bath. At this party, Fr Michael hoped that all the debts would be cleared on the church by the end of 1941, in fact they were cleared by July 1941, when the church was concecrated.

Consecration of St Mary's Church July 2nd 1941

The service took place a year after the church was opened. It was led by Bishop of Clifton, Rt. Rev William Lee. The church was empty, even the benches were removed. The church was blessed with holy water and holy oil. Then everyone was admitted. The procession of the relics then took place. Relics of saints were placed in the altars. Those of St Thomas of Canterbury, St Innocentius and St Benedict were placed in the High Altar. Sts. Victoria and Barbara in the Lady Altar and Sts Innocentius and Clement in the Sacred Heart Altar. In addition, a special relic of Blessed Oliver Plunkett, was deposited in each of the reliquaries. Glastonbury's church is thus the only one having in all its altars a relic of this Martyr. The Mass of the Dedication of a Church followed.