The community of St Nicholas of Tolentino has just got its church back after a year of building work. A multicultural Mass has been celebrated by Parish Priest Father Richard McKay and visiting priests.
It is the oldest purpose built Catholic parish church in Bristol. Serving a diverse parish, it is proud of its multicultural heritage. During the building work, parishioners have met at the parish school for worship.
Father Richard McKay said: "The spirit in St Nick's here today was a mixture of excitement, profound thankfulness and unbounded joy, and of course relief that we have at last 'come home'."
He said: "Today was the first time many of our community have seen what the renovated church is actually like. The first thing to strike everyone is that the church is now filled with light."
The congregation has been looking forward to getting its church back, newly decorated with specially commissioned African art.
St Nicholas of Tolentino has more than 50 different nationalities in its congregation. Father McKay said: "We sing in three or four different languages at Sunday mass... we really enjoy each others cultures."
An afternoon-long feast featuring dishes from around the world was enjoyed after Mass in the new parish hall facilities.
Father Richard McKay said: "The major purpose of the re-building...is our mission in the area - our reaching out to the needs of the local community." The church will be re-consecrated in February 2009.