Fr Lawrence Jones (left) and Fr Peter Moore
White Fathers will definitely be leaving Heston in a short time. The parish priest. Father Lawrence Jones heard, that Cardinal Godfrey at Westminster had accepted their request to move.
They will go soon after a secular priest is appointed. The White Fathers originally accepted the responsibility of a parish at Heston because of a shortage of secular priests. Usually the Society rules that no Pastoral work should be undertaken outside the mission territories so as many men as possible can be kept for the essential work of the 'Missions'.
With the increased number of secular priests available, it has seemed opportune to hand the parish, which is now firmly established, into the hands of the secular clergy.
The White Fathers came to Heston in 1928, took over Westbrook House and held mass in a room converted for the purpose. ONLY NINE PEOPLE ATTENDED THE FIRST MASS. They built a church adjoining and the congregation has risen to 1,100 with 50 children at the infants school in the Hall behind the church.
PROPOSED NEW CHURCH
It is hoped that the children will soon have a more permanent building for their lessons, for a new £40,000 church is planned next to the White Sisters Convent, and the present church will be converted into a school. As well as serving Heston road, the new church will give access to Eton Avenue, making the journey to services easier for parishioners in the Fern Lane area.
When the Catholic church was established it was the only Home of the White Fathers in Great Britain, but now the have founded ten other houses, which have taken over the administrative and education work of the society, leaving only parishionial duties in Heston.
When the move takes place the present three members will break up and go elsewhere within the society - including 88- YEAR OLD FATHER ARTHUR PRENTICE (left) , a convert, who was the First Englishman to join the White Fathers, 63 years ago. A remarkable man and brilliant pianist, he retains all his faculties, and is much respected by Heston residents.
Father Jones told our reporter, that the White Fathers were very sorry to leave Heston, but added" We leave convinced that we take with us the goodwill of all those it has been our privilege to meet."
The official name of the White Fathers is " The Missionaries of Africa." Their headquarters moved ten years ago from Maison- Carree to Rome.