Our New Parish
The presentation of our proposed amalgamation to the Presbyteral Council was very straightforward and so the bishop was able to make a quick decision. Consequently our new parish came into existence on Thursday 29 November, under the title Our Lady of Hope. Whilst there is evidence of this title being used earlier, it is a title of Our Lady which is most associated with her appearance to several young children in Pontmain, France on 17 January 1871. They described a beautiful woman smiling at them, wearing a blue gown covered with golden stars and a black veil under a golden crown. They saw a banner unfurl beneath the lady with the message: "But pray, my children. God will hear you in time. My Son allows Himself to be touched.” and this was seen as a sign of hope at the height of the Franco-Prussian War. The apparitions were given Church approval and recognition by the local bishop in February 1872 and devotion to Our Lady of Hope of Pontmain was approved by the Holy See during the pontificate of Pope Pius XI.