Archived Parish News

2013 was a significant year for the parish in many ways. See below some of the highlights of the year.

150th anniversary of the consecration of St. Mary’s

On 21st May our beloved church of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary (to give it the correct dedication), celebrated its 150th anniversary of consecration by Bishop Thomas Grant in 1863. After morning Mass, there was Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament all afternoon, concluding with May Devotions and Benediction. Unfortunately, Bishop Egan could not attend on that day, so another celebration was arranged for Saturday, 7th September. The church was packed with parishioners (past and present), visitors and guests in the church. On processing into the church, the bishop was met at the door by the parish priest, and the Island clergy. He was presented with a crucifix which he kissed and venerated, and then sprinkled himself and others with holy water. He then processed under a canopy to the Sacred Heart Chapel where he prayed silently before the Blessed Sacrament.

In his homily the bishop paid tribute to the church and to the parish: “The church today looks more beautiful than ever, a testimony to the great work of Father Glaysher and his parishioners. Our Diocese is proud of St. Mary’s, but I think it’s true to say, so too are the people of Ryde. Yet today also gives us an opportunity to thank God for all we’ve received in this holy place: the Baptisms, Confirmations and First Holy Communions, the marriages and the funerals, the parish priests and parishioners we’ve known and loved”.

He concluded by asking the congregation to remember past, present and future parishioners:- “In this Mass, in which we thank God and pray for the parish family, living and dead, whom we’ve known and loved here, let’s also pray for all who belong to this community now, for the parish school, and for the next generations. Through the most pure Heart of Mary, may the Father pour out afresh the gifts of the Spirit, that all may find in Jesus Christ the Transcendent God, the happiness and fulfilment for which they long”.

After lunch the bishop blessed and dedicated the Anthony Minghella Gallery in Presentation House, in memory of the well known Island Film Director. Anthony use to serve Mass here in St. Mary’s and his parents, Eddie and Gloria, were married here in 1950, and still worship at the church today.

In the afternoon the bishop presided at Solemn Vespers and gave Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament before going to the Lady Chapel to venerate the statue. The patronal prayer in honour of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary was recited. Fr. Glaysher has expressed his gratitude to all those who assisted to prepare for the Bishop’s visitation. It was much appreciated. Some photographs can be seen in the “Gallery” (Parish) page.

Year of Faith

The parish embraced the Year of Faith with great enthusiasm. Most parish groups / societies arranged study sessions which focussed on various aspects of the faith, including the liturgical year, dvotions, the catechism, lives of the saints and bible study. The Legion of Mary provided parishioners with a (free) copy of the catechism, and the Faith Study Group did likewise, with a copy of the Simple Prayer Book.

In addition there were two pilgrimages organised; - in March to Gloucester Cathedral and Prinknash Abbey and in September to West Grinstead and to Arundel Cathedral. A Day of Recollection was also held in October, with the theme – “The Holy Rosary”. This was led by Fr. Matthew Goddard FSSP. In 2014, the parish look forward to addressing the “Year of Faith in Action” as recommended by the bishop.

Ecumenical Service of Blessing of Animals and Pets

This was a first for the parish. The people of Ryde and elsewhere brought their pets and animals to church (or rather, the church hall), for prayers and a blessing in October. This ecumenical service was conducted jointly by Fr. Anthony Glaysher and Rev. Marie Attwood, from Ryde Methodist Church. Both referred to the Book of Genesis and the creation by God of the animals, the fishes of the sea, the birds of the air, the saving of the animals by Noah at the Flood; and of the birth of Christ in the stable surrounded by animals. They reminded the people who attended with a variety of animals, that we have a duty of love, care and affection for animals as part of God’s creation. Prayers were offered and hymns sung, before each animal was blessed with holy water. Please See Gallery for photographs. It is hoped that this service will become an annual event.


Processions have always played an important part in the life of the parish. At one time they went along the High Street and down St. John’s Road. Now it is to and from the church garden. The usual processions were held on Palm Sunday and in early Summer for the annual Marian Procession in honour of Our Lady and the annual Corpus Christi Procession. All were well attended, with the First Holy Communion children playing a significant role in all three.

Procession with the Miraculous Holy Rosary

Whilst the procession mentioned above are annual events, the one on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary (October 7th) was the first outdoor Marian Procession through the streets of Ryde for 48 years, attracted a good number of parishioners.

This Service and Procession, as part of the Island Pastoral Area pilgrimage to the various Catholic churches, was a fitting act of devotion to the Mother of God. The Service commenced with the Angelus, followed by the singing of the well known Marian hymn; “Daily, daily, Sing to Mary”. After the Collect and Readings of the day, the procession commenced. Banners depicting the various decades of the Holy Rosary were carried from the church into the High Street, followed by a statue of Our Lady with floral decoration on a bier (see photos in Gallery - Processions). Fr. Glaysher carried a relic of Our Lady inside a reliquary. He was joined by Fr. Jonathan Redvers Harris, Fr. P.J. Smith and Fr. Ken Rimini. As the procession went along Ryde High Street, into George Street and back into the High Street via Star Street, the congregation sang verses of the Lourdes hymn between each decade of the rosary.

Back in the church Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament was given before the Prayer for the conversion of England was recited at the Lady Chapel and the Service concluded with the singing of the Salve Regina.


In addition to the events mentioned above, which marked 2013 as a significant year, it is important not to neglect all the various ministries that take place in the parish on a weekly (and some – even a daily) basis. The groups and socities who meet regularly to share and to celebrate their faith; the various individuals who work to clean the church, arrange flowers, visit the sick and the housebound, and who support Father in many other ways, in a voluntary capacity, without seeking any recognition or reward. It is, as always, much appreciated. Visit our “Gallery” page for photographs of many parish events throughout the year.

« Parish News 2014