On the following Saturday, there was a Parish Bazaar in Devizes Corn Exchange. For many years the parish had held an annual Grand Bazaar, the best recorded of which was the one held in 1928 - see Other Parish Events. However, for various reasons these had not been held for several years.
The first event organised to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the parish was a pilgrimage to Petersfield in Hampshire, the town to which Father Larive travelled after leaving Wiltshire and where on May 28th 1893, he died.
On Saturday September 10th, Father Jean-Patrice and sixteen parishioners joined Father Peter Hollins, Parish Priest, and members of the Petersfield parish for morning Mass in St Laurence's Church.
After Mass they enjoyed light refreshments, kindly provided by the St Laurence parish, before going with some of the local parishioners to Petersfield Cemetery where Father Jean-Patrice blessed the grave of Father Larive.
After a meal at a local pub, the party returned to Devizes stopping at Winchester on the way. There, visits to the cathedral and the cathedral teashop were enjoyed.
On September 25th, the parish was honoured by a visit from the Bishop of Clifton, The Right Reverend Declan Lang, who celebrated the 1030 Mass with Father Jean-Patrice, Parish Priest; Father Darline, Parish Curate; Father Agnelo Fernandes, Superior General of the Missionaries of St Francis de Sales; and Father Martin Griffin, Provincial Superior of the MSFS; assisted by Rev David Wakefield, Parish Deacon.
The Mass was attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, John Bush, OBE, and Mrs Bush; the Chairman of Wiltshire County Council, Cllr Brigadier Robert Hall; the Mayor of Devizes, Mrs Sue Evans, and Mr Evans; and many parishioners.
Before Mass, Bishop Lang blessed the new Parish banner. After Mass a group photograph was taken and then refreshments were enjoyed in the school hall.
Photographs: Chris Henley unless otherwise credited
Photographs: Chris Henley
The 150th Anniversary Mass was celebrated on Friday November 4th in the Anglican church of St Mary in New Park Street, by kind permisison of the Rector of the Parish of St John and St Mary. The warehouse where Fr Larive had celebrated Mass had long been demolished and it was deemed fitting to celebrate as close to the location as possible. The Mass was attended by many parishioners and former parishioners.
Part of the church was used to display some of the archive photographs of the parish and a Powerpoint presentation of the history of the parish was projected onto one of the walls before Mass began.