John Roper Parkington – fund-raising for St. Austin’s, Wimbledon Park.

ST. AUSTIN’S, WIMBLEDON : A GENEROUS OFFER.—A bazaar in aid of St. Austin’s, Wimbledon Park, for the new church, was opened on Wednesday, by Miss Hood, daughter of Sir Joseph Hood, Bart., M.P., at the Welcome Hall, Wimbledon. Colonel Sir Roper Parkington, who, unfortunately, was prevented by illness from attending, requested that his speech should be read, in which he said : ” Since I have taken a house in this parish I have been deeply interested in the building of the new church of St. Austin’s at Wimbledon Park. When I arrived I went to the present temporary church, but I found that there was no proper seating accommodation. I was convinced that a new church was much needed, and I promised Father Rector to give £500 [a present day value of almost £ 150,000] as soon as the new church was begun. At the request of Father O’Gorman, our district priest, I undertook to lay the foundation-stone of St. Austin’s. I was encouraged to do this because my old and much esteemed friend, Father Bernard Vaughan, promised to speak on the occasion. I regret that he has not lived to add this good work to a life of good work for God’s glory. I earnestly appeal to you, the Catholics of Wimbledon, to come generously forward to-day to assist in collecting such a sum of money as may enable Father Rector to start the building of St. Austin’s without delay. I am looking forward to the day when I shall be able to take sittings in the new church for myself and my wife, Lady Parkington, who, as a member of the altar society and sodality, has taken the greatest interest in the parish and in the building of our new church.”

The above text was found on p.30, 16th December 1922 in “The Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly.” Reproduced with kind permission of the Publisher. The Tablet can be found at http://www.thetablet.co.uk .

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