Welcome to St Michael & All Angels Parish
‘This new church is a ‘light shining in the dark’; it is a place of warmth and welcome; it is a place of grace and life; it is a place where the disciples of Christ are to be found, gathering to celebrate the Eucharist and the saving presence of the Lord; it is a place from which those disciples will stream out to give witness and proclamation to the Gospel of Christ; it is, above all, a place of Communion and Mission, the very raison d’être of the Christian Church.’
In 2005 Right Reverend Crispian Hollis, Bishop of Portsmouth, wrote those words about the new church which he had dedicated on 2nd February. It had risen phoenix-like from the ashes of the previous 1970 building which had been destroyed by a thunderbolt on 4th July 2001. Parishioners were involved at every stage of the planning of the new church; that collaborative work, led by the Parish Priest, Fr Jozef Gruszkiewicz, is evident in the wonderful sense of the sacred which pervades St Michael’s. It is light, airy, and spacious and feels prayerful and welcoming.
St Michael’s had grown out of the Parish of St Joseph’s, Havant in the early 1950s. On 15th September 1947 the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth dug the first spadeful of earth to begin the work that would eventually provide homes for 39,000 people. Leigh Park was to become the largest residential housing development in Europe. The Diocese of Portsmouth and the Parish of Havant looked for the best ways to minister to the many Catholics, including Polish, Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian refugees, as well as the locally born, who lived on this new estate.
The Parish has continued in its mission ever since. It works hard to preach the Gospel and celebrate the Mass and the Sacraments. It rejoices in sharing these with our local community, with visitors from afar and as part of the Universal, the Catholic Church.
Welcome in the name of Jesus Christ!
St Michael and All Angels, the Catholic Parish in Leigh Park has, since the early 1950s, been delighted to welcome people to its message of the Lord’s redeeming love. We have a great history here of sharing God’s Word in the Mass and the Sacraments. This goes back to the time when we developed from Havant Parish so as to meet the needs of the many families who had found new homes here after the Second World War.
The people of the Parish have, throughout all of that time, worked hard together, for the glory of God and for the good of their neighbours. The collaborative spirit of the congregation, led over the decades by many great priests, has built the foundations of the work that we do today. It also makes us always hopeful and positive about the work that we do for parishioners, including those yet unborn, who will follow us.
We are all about evangelisation and mission; we want to bring the Gospel of Jesus to people who do not yet know it. We do that by word and by deed, by what we say and by what we do.
We always want to hear from anyone interested in knowing more of the message which Jesus gives to the whole world:
I am the Way and the Truth and the Life.
If you want to follow the Way,
to hear and to share the Truth
and to know the fullness of Life
come and join us at St Michael’s;
you really will be most welcome!