When asked what All Souls church and parish means to them, here’s what some parishioners said. If you’d like to add your thoughts, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t be shy!
“One of the few sacred meeting places available”
“A place to reflect”
“A place for celebrations- we love Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve!”
“The third piece of the partnership where, alongside home and All Souls School, our children have grown in faith”
“A community hub which allows parishioners, through various ministries and wider initiatives such as the homeless shelter, to live out their faith and help others”
The O’Shea family
Practically, All Soul’s has been a major part of my life for 40+ years. Including, our wedding, the funerals of my mum, dad and baby son and the baptisms of two of my children.
How I relate to it has been variable, with times of wavering faith and times of increasing faith. The pandemic has increased my faith, as I realise not having All Souls in my life would leave a huge hole.
– As I have been a single parent and am married to an atheist, the church does not always relate to me, but All Souls always has. It always feels like home.
The Parish is not a constant. It can’t be. Forty years of changes – some welcome, some inevitable, some imposed, some contradictory – mean it signifies many things. It is a contested space. Parishioners provide for the Parish and should be part of its development.
We should be able to shape it because it is our responsibility, but we have to work against internal and external forces to do so, as in any human organisation. Therefore we must have time and opportunity to express what we truly think and feel. Placidity is not our ideal, and feathers may sometimes ruffle.
When I first walked into our church many years ago, I did not know anybody in Coventry but my husband.
It felt like home and I finally truly understood the ONE holy apostolic church in the Creed.
Since then, All Souls has continued to be a welcoming and active community where I could live my faith together with so many parishioners that I got to know over the years.
“To me All Souls means community, support and celebration. The close links with the school community enable the parish to celebrate with the children, and support them as they follow their journey of faith. As a family we have had many celebrations, weddings, baptisms, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation, and all these have strengthened our relationship with All Souls, both the church and the school. Two of my grandchildren are the third generation to attend All Souls.
The church is also for me a place of comfort, the first place to visit when I lost each of my parents where I found peace and strength, and support.”
“To be perfect is to have changed often”. 1 Our parish has lived through a year of change: welcoming Fr Paul and the Ordinariate; experiencing Lockdown; for some, losing loved ones, readjustments in family life; witnessing dramatic developments in the world around us – an increased awareness of the gifts of creation…. of the suffering of the poor and marginalised.
“The kingdom of God is within (us)”. 2 Has Lockdown motivated me to listen more attentively to others, to walk with my neighbour in need, to pray, read scripture, work in solidarity with our community to bring about God’s vision of a more united parish, society and world?
1 Saint John Henry Newman
2 Luke 17:21
When I walk through the doors of All Souls I know that it is the place where I belong. It is here where I receive the Sacraments and hear the Word of God. Whatever else is happening in my life, this place is constant. The building is beautiful but it is the people who make the church. Ethnically, culturally, socially, we are all different, we come as families or in ones and twos, young and old, in this place it does not matter, we are the Family of God.
I was baptised and confirmed at All Souls and every week, I am nourished by the Eucharist and the word of God which is proclaimed with care. Sacraments and the loving support I receive from my parish help me to grow in faith and become a close friend of Jesus. I have made many friends at All Souls, and in our parish there is a great sense of caring for one another. To me, All Souls is not only a place of worship but my second home.