Sunday, 2 July was a day that began well, as Father David presented Sheila Dobey with a framed Papal Blessing, sent at the request of CAFOD and recognising her 25 years of loyal and devoted service as a CAFOD volunteer.

After the 10.15 Mass parishioners gathered at the Cedars Hotel for the annual Summer Party – now  a regular and very popular event. As always, our Keralan group provided superb traditional food – just as popular as the burgers and hot dogs that were also on offer. (And many of us opted to sample both…)  Cakes and scones prepared by members of the parish were also available, as were a variety of games and activities for children (and young-at-heart adults).

Stowmarket Parish, covering more than 500 square miles and including 83 villages, is one of the largest in the UK, and (like many East Anglian parishes) its parishioners are so widely scattered that they usually only meet others who attend the same Mass. Parties and social occasions like this one ensure that members of different ‘Mass communities’ can stay in touch and support each other.

With a choice of mouthwatering desserts and a well-stocked pile of raffle prizes on offer, it was – as always – truly an occasion to celebrate and remember. Thanks to everyone involved in making it happen!