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Celebrating Catholic Unity

Celebrating our unity with the rest of the Catholic Church.

We are one of the major churches in our diocese of Plymouth in terms of size, resources, talents in our community, and the size and beauty of our church building. In the history of the Catholic Church in our islands there have been different organizational models at different times in response to different needs. Looking to the future it seems the model of half a dozen or so main Catholic centres in each county with smaller surrounding churches and chapels might once again be the most appropriate to match the needs of our time.

Some historians argue that this was the pattern of organisation in England from about the 5th to the 10th centuries with the main centres known as minsters. If this does come to pass, it would natural for our parish to be one such centre. Whatever comes to pass, with our resources we ought to play our part as one of the major churches in the diocese, celebrating that we are part of the Diocese of Plymouth, and continuing to share our gifts with others where we can.

Together with Blessed Sacrament parish, we form Catholic Exeter. We try to do better together what we can. As the number of priest declines, it may be that the priests from both our parishes will have to cover other outlying chapels of ease as well.

We are one Church with the historic Catholic Church in Exeter and the surrounding area, with the same faith and sacraments that they had. One important link with our past that stands our is our connection with St Boniface, the principal patron saint of our diocese, and the patron saint of Devon. The earliest geographical reference made in the records of St Boniface is his association with Exeter where he was schooled by the Benedictine monks at the monastery whose site was later taken over by the church of St Mary Major and whose location is marked by the iron cross on the cathedral green, about 150m to the north of our church. Only in later records about St Boniface is Crediton also mentioned.

Our link with our patron saint is therefore strong. We are only yards from the site of the monastery when he came as a child oblate and where he started his monastic and clerical life, and we are the successors of the Catholic faith of that monastery. It is right that we have in our church an altar and a window dedicated to St Boniface, and we ought to make more of this. 

It may be that there already is a relic of St Boniface in the altar dedicated to him, but there is no record of this to be sure. We are able however to obtain a (second) relic of St Boniface and house it in a reliquary on the altar for the prayers and veneration of those who come to our church. A mock-up of what the reliquary might look like is shown below. We hope to install the reliquary in the 2025 jubilee year.

This mock-up and some more drawings have been given to an award winning metal worker for him to produce some designs for the reliquary.

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