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Highlights of parish life in Houghton Regis
On Monday 26 June we had the great pleasure of welcoming Bishop Norman Banks, Bishop of Richborough and Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of St Albans, among us for a service of Confirmation and for the dedication of the altar triptych.
Bishop Norman celebrated the Mass and administered the sacrament of Confirmation to six candidates. What is Confirmation? Confirmation is a response to God’s love for us, and a special way of receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of the bishop’s hands in preparation for a life of Christian faithfulness and service. Confirmation is also a step of personal faith: the candidates take on for themselves the promises made for them at Baptism, confirming their faith and their membership of the body of Christ, the Church.
During the service the altar triptych was formally presented by Mr Terry Payne and dedicated to the glory of God, in memory of Fr Colin Gay, former Assistant Priest in our parish. We are very grateful also to our Town Mayor, Cllr Jimmy Carroll, for attending the dedication.
The triptych’s central panel depicts the Lord Jesus Christ in glory with the Blessed Virgin Mary and St John the Evangelist. St George and St John the Baptist are one the right section, St Wilfrid and St Theodore of Amasea on the left panel. The piece was painted by Nechita Laurentiu, a talented Romanian icon writer, using authentic gold leaf. The artist has worked for the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, and he has several pieces displayed in UK church. The triptych was commissioned in 2007 for Preston Minster and placed above the high altar, encased between the back riddel posts. However, it was sold off in 2020 and purchased by a parishioner.