• Father Jim Brown in front of the Church of the Holy Spirit
The Bay Islands Catholic Community of the Church of the Holy Spirit will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the dedication of the church building on Sunday, May 17, at 2.30pm
The Anglican community of the Church of the Holy Spirit will also take part in the celebrations.
According to Catholic Priest, Father Jim Browne, the church building came about because of the cooperation of many volunteers of many denominations.
The church was ecumenical in concept and has remained so over the 10 years of its existence.
The building was and is revolutionary in design, almost completed on the ground then jacked into position for supports to be welded and fixed into place.
Father Jim Browne had the concept for a church in the late 1990's.
With the help of many volunteers and Robert Hopgood in particular, the Church of the Holy Spirit became a reality with the official opening and dedication on Pentecost Sunday, 15th May, 2005.
Work had started on the project in 2004 with Robert Hopgood instrumental in the design and building of the very clever building.
His wife Alison also played a valuable role as did parishioners Mavis Petersen, Elaine Sutcliffe, Lorna Manske and many others.
Father Browne told The Friendly Bay Islander: "The land and the original building were fully funded at the time at a cost of around $110,000, but fund raising continued for the later construction of a lovely columbarium which provides niches for the ashes of deceased members of the island communities, irrespective of religious affiliation.
"This area includes a special commemorative wall where plaques pay tribute to those whose mortal remains are elsewhere," Father Browne added.
The celebration of the 10th anniversary on Sunday May 17 will be a special event with a number of people who worked tirelessly on the church project, returning to join the island community in a simple ceremony of affirmation and gratitude.
"It would be lovely if as many islanders as possible who are either parishioners or who played a part back then, return for this special anniversary," Father Browne said.