Fr Lane saying Sunday Mass

A Shrove Tuesday Carnival took place with pancake races took place in the streets outside the church and was a great success. Bands played and the Lord Mayor presented the prizes and, of course, pancakes were consumed in large numbers by young and old alike.

The Novena of SFX was held in March 1998 and nine speakers, all with SFX connections, spoke on the theme of “Oh My God! – Reflections on God in My Life.”

In April a group led by Father Lane went on a five day pilgrimage to the shrines of northern France which took them to Liseieux and Rue de Bac.

 

Yet another major event took place at SFX in May. The Flower Festival with the very appropriate title, “With Hope in Our Hearts.” A huge amount of work had gone into the preparations of this event which took place over four days starting on 15th May. Over sixty flower arrangers took part and visitors came from all over area. They were rewarded by a glorious sight as the church was transformed into a sea flowers. All the proceed from this very special festival went to the Roy Castle Appeal for Cancer research and our school Computer fund.

In the difficult years of the 1980s and 90s, while a small group of dedicated people fought to keep SFX alive, the church was rarely full; today such an event is commonplace. People are talking about SFX again and the church is seen to be making an effective contribution to the community.

 

St Joseph's Altar

And not just in Liverpool! In the autumn of 1997, a decision was taken by the 150th Anniversary Committee to raise the necessary funds to provide a water pump for the village of St Ignatius in Guyana. It was expected that it would take most of the anniversary year to raise the £1000 needed, but an SFX parishioner ran the New York marathon in November and, thanks to sponsorship from church members and Catholics throughout Merseyside, the money was raised in a matter of weeks. The pump was then installed in St Ignatius and by the end of the anniversary year enough money was raised at SFX to install a water pump in another village.

Sunday 8th November was a special Mass for deceased members of the SFX parish, followed by Forty Hours Devotion, something this church has been famous for since the days of Brother William Shaw SJ and his legendary “Quarant Ore” altar displays.

Liverpool’s St George’s Hall, which opened just six years after SFX, was the venue for the Anniversary Ball on November 28th when 600 people enjoyed themselves as they celebrated 150 years in the life of a great church.