Reprieve for Sydney Circular Quay chapel
The AMP Society, which has provided space on the ground floor of one of its properties for the Marist Chapel, rent-free for 17 years, has reversed its decision to discontinue the arrangement.
The Catholic Weekly reports that worshippers fighting to prevent the closure of the mass centre near Sydney Harbour's main ferry terminal were excited to learn that it had been granted a reprieve.
"I prayed so hard, and God has answered my prayers. It is so exciting, I just want to cry," said Mrs Josephine Misfud, a chapel regular for more than 40 years. "I want to say thank you a hundred thousand times."
Now the people who signed a petition to keep the chapel open are putting their names to a 'thank you' note.
After Easter the parish priest at St Patricks' Church Hill, Fr Peter McMurrich, announced that the AMP Society, which had been giving the Marist Fathers' rent-free occupancy for 17 years, wanted to reclaim the space.
The last Mass was to have been on Sunday, 1 May. Now AMP has removed the deadline and the chapel has an indefinite extension of time on a month-to-month basis.
AMP had planned to use the chapel space to accomodate the expansion of the other tenant of the Young St building, the EF International Language School.
Chapel worshippers immediately signed a petition and approached the media. One woman even offered to pay a year's rent to AMP to maintain the chapel.
The Marist Fathers were simply grateful that they have been given the space rent-free for so long. But even with this reprieve they cannot guarantee the long-term availability of a priest to say Masses there.
Reprieve for chapel in the city (Catholic Weekly 24/4/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
St Patrick's Church Hill | Marist Chapel | Map
Mass Times - Church Hill, Sydney (Archdiocese of Sydney)
22 Apr 2005