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Those he called he justified, and with those he justified he shared his glory.
(Rom. 8:30)


We are not a faceless and nameless mass in the Church. We are not impersonal numbers, unknown to one another. We are the People of God. We are loved one by one by the Father, in the Son, through the Holy Spirit.

We are persons capable of answering the call of eternal love of this God, who has always known us, and has predestined us to be in conformity with the image of his Son, who called, justified, and glorified us; therefore, we are brothers, who love one another and form one body.

- Pope John Paul II
Rome 6.7.80


 

Our Church!

The Poles first arrived in Kidderminster at the end of the War when Polish Servicemen were demobilised from Army Camps in the area and housed at hostels at Summerfield, Drakelow and Mustow Green.

These 1,200 Poles had mostly served in General Ander's famous Polish 2nd Corps. Held against their will or imprisoned in Russia, after the Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939, they formed a new Polish Army on Russian soil following the German invasion of Russia. General Anders marched his army across the Soviet Union and out via Iran - his troops then serving with great distinction in the North African and Italian Campaigns. It was this army which stormed the ruins of Monte Cassino.

Other Poles arriving in Kidderminster had served on nearly every front of the war including the Polish Air Force; the Polish Navy; the Polish First Division of General Maczek; the Polish Independent Airborne Division; and the "silent and unseen" who were dropped into occupied Poland. Some had served in the A.K. (Home Army) in Poland fighting in the Warsaw Uprising.

In 1946 demobilised Polish servicemen formed the S.P.K. (Polish Ex-Combatants Association) in this country to preserve their cultural identity and to work together for the welfare of Polish Servicemen who had decided to remain here, rather than return to a Poland betrayed at Yalta into the hands of a detested Russian puppet regime.

The first local Polish Club was at the YMCA in Kidderminster's Orchard Street, moving to Burlish Camp in 1952 where they started their own Chapel and school.

The Polish Roman Catholic Church of "Our Lady of Ostra Brama" was built in the early 1960s in Pitt Street in Kidderminster.

The Church is part of the Polish Catholic Mission to England and Wales.

The Church takes it name from the shrine of Our Lady of Ostra Bram in Wilna (Lith: Vilnius, Eng: Vilna). Wilna, long a part of the old Polish Commonwealth and later the pre-war Second Republic of Poland is now the capital city of Lithuania. The 'Ostra Brama' or Pointed Gate is the sole remnant of the city walls built in 1552 by the Polish king Sigismund I Jagiello. Above the gate is a shrine containing an image of the Virgin - known as "Our Lady of Ostra Brama" - long venerated by Poles and an object of devoted pilgrimage. Since the closure of the Burlish Camp in 1958 the Church has worked closely with the S.P.K., based at its present home in St.George's Terrace in Kidderminster, meeting the spiritual and cultural needs of the local Polish community.

The Church building itself is elegantly simple boasting a magnificent 1990s mural behind the altar.

All visitors will find a warm welcome awaiting them!


Here is what the late Father Jacek Trochim
wrote about our Church...

Dear Friends,

POCHWALONY JESUS CHRYSTUS I MARYJA BOGURODZICA.

PRAISED BE JESUS CHRIST AND MARY MOTHER OF GOD.

Welcome, welcome, welcome!

It is so nice to see you visiting our picturesque, small but so beautiful church.

Be aware that you are visiting a very special HOUSE OF GOD. Each brick of it and every piece in it is a sign and part of a tremendous and sacrificial love for God and the human need and desire to worship God in our own language and in a way unique to our own culture and tradition.

WHY IS IT SO?

Because our dear POLISH PEOPLE built this CHURCH before they could afford and have their own houses and homes.

They built the church – when they themselves did not have the chairs to sit on in their barracks or the tables to eat at. They were sitting on the boxes and ate on their laps…

After heavy and exhausting shifts they were going straight from work to shift the earth, to dig the foundations and to work tirelessly…

WHY? WERE THEY MAD?

YES!!!

But their madness had the sense of great wisdom. They needed and it was important and essential for them to get together in THEIR OWN HOUSE OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. To feel really at home, not only as children of God, but also as ONE BIG FAMILY: BROTHERS and SISTERS OF MOTHER POLAND.

Having experienced despicable hatred, humiliation, persecution and suffering they wanted dearly to have their own place to meet Christ, Son of God and Son of Man – to learn the possibility and spirit of forgiveness and love.

In this, THEIR OWN CHURCH, they felt at home. By power of spirit and the magic of imagination – being transferred into beloved Poland, lost homeland, - to revive youthful dreams and romantic idealistic spirit and vision of the World with human dignity, fraternity, love and peace…

The majority of those who came to Kidderminster were from the EASTERN PART OF POLAND – PRESENTED AS A GIFT TO RUSSIA BY WESTERN SO CALLED "ALLIES" at the end of the Second World War.

Because of that, to look at and see in the main altar the IMAGE OF OUR LADY, MOTHER OF MERCY – venerated in OSTRA BRAMA OF WILNO – in her tearful eyes and so painful and so sad face, they saw and felt the warmth and loving touch and painful care of their own MOTHERS…

I am sorry, and please forgive me, that I took so much of your time.

But please, please, please do COME IN and stay with us for a moment. Let us together experience UNITY IN GOD AS ONE FAMILY. Let us be for a moment true SISTERS and BROTHERS of CHRIST. Let us be filled with saintly and responsible LOVE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. Being in this building let us remember that WE – PEOPLE – WE ARE THE CHURCH – THE PARTS OF THE MYSTICAL BODY OF CHRIST AND LIVING TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. MAY MATKA BOSKA OSTROBRAMSKA – MOTHER OF GOD OF OSTRA BRAMA pray for us and with us for peace, well being and happiness.

Which I wish you from the bottom of my heart,


Next comes CLICK THREE!


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