HUNDREDS of Catholic worshippers attended a Mega Mass at Oaklands RC School in Waterlooville.
It was the first time such a large mass has been held in the area, and marked the end of a two-week mission around the Havant and Waterlooville areas.
During the first week, around 500 families in Horndean, Waterlooville, Leigh Park, Havant, Emsworth and Hayling Island were visited by members of the Catholic church as part of the ministry.
Father Tom Grufferty, pastor of St Joseph’s in Havant, who is also co-ordinator for the wider pastoral area, said: ‘At the same time we had church celebrations in the morning.
‘Visiting people in their homes is very important, and it’s something we do a lot, so this was really in tune with what we already do as a community.’
During the second week’s mission, services were held in churches around the five parishes.
The idea was for worshippers from different parishes to cross parochial borders and enjoy a service in a neighbouring parish before coming together for the Mega Mass at Oaklands.
Father Tom said it was a huge community effort, with people with many different talents all pulling together to make sure it could happen.
He said: ‘We had wonderful hospitality at each of the churches, with refreshments after each service.
‘There were people who were organising the transport as well, so those who wanted to could get there.
‘We had singers as well, so there was really a whole raft of talents that we’ve discovered.’
Father Tom said hundreds of people turned up at the school for the mass yesterday morning, and he hopes this event will not be the last of its kind.
‘I am hoping that we can do this perhaps every three or four years.’
In the meantime, Father Tom is hoping to host an adult mission from the Sion Community in Brentwood, Essex, next March, following a successful visit from its youth mission.