Holy Family may close churches to deal with £1.6m debt

By Evan Short

BY Evan Short e.short@belfastmediagroup.com
A major restructuring of Holy Family Parish due to falling numbers of massgoers and a debt of £1.6 million could see all three places of worship in the parish – St Therese of Lisieux on the Somerton Road, the Church of the Resurrection on the Cavehill Road and Holy Family church itself on the Somerton Road – sold off to create a parish hub on one site.
That is just one of five options that have been outlined to parishioners regarding the future of the parish, with a meeting to discussion the proposals planned for next Wednesday (November 12) in the parish centre on the Cavehill Road.
Options outlined to massgoers at the weekend were that 1) nothing is done, 2) the Church of the Resurrection and Presbytery are sold off but the parish centre is retained with the proceeds going to renovate St Therese, 3) sell off all three to provide more funds for St Therese, 4) sell off St Therese to renovate the Church of the Resurrection or 5) sell all sites off to create the new parish hub.
Down and Connor Spokesman Fr Eddie McGee said the wider church was going through a major consultation and these issues were part of that.
“This is part of an ongoing look at all sorts of things like mass attendance, the age profile of priests, sacramental provision and such.
“So there has been a whole audit going on across the diocese so we can address the pastoral needs of the community.”
Fr McGee said questions from parishioners would be addressed at next Wednesday’s meeting, which begins at 7pm.

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