On behalf of the Parish Council I would like to extend a warm welcome to you and trust you will find St John Fisher a true spiritual home.
Below is a brief history about St John Fisher kindly documented by a parishioner, Monica Myburgh, Maria Botha and Sabie Pattinson.
St John Fisher Catholic Church Lynnwood was opened and blessed by:
Archbishop John C Gardner in August 1961.
The first parish priest was Msgr. Francis Ward.
When the church was built, the priest said mass with his back to the congregation and there were still the communion rails in place. After Vatican Council II a wooden altar was made and the communion rails removed and the priest then faced the parishioners.
I, (Monica Myburgh) first came to the Parish in 1966 so the following is what I was told and items 1-7 below were already in place.
The wooden carving of Our Lady was donated by non-Catholic friends of Msgr. Ward.
The stain glass window nearest the pulpit was installed.
The painted glass windows high on the south wall depicting the seven sacraments was installed.
The two small stain glass windows depicting the four gospels (the other two were removed when the hall was built), they were to be installed in the hall entrance, this was never done and still remain missing!
The Stations of the Cross were wooden crosses.
The Crucifix, I think I can recall Rodney Michael saying he saw them installing it. Dorena Shaw started the CWL (Catholic Woman’s League) at the request from Msgr. Ward, this she told me herself and Dave started the SVP (St Vincent De Paul Society).
The six copper candle sticks were donated by the Beddingfield family from the Nelspruit area, their daughter was Sister Elizabeth a Loreto nun. A condition of the donation of these candle sticks is that they are always to be in the altar area.
Early in 1969 Msgr. Ward left Lynnwood due to ill health.
Archbishop Gardner and priests from the monastery celebrated mass until Father Raymund Mullan was appointed parish priest in December 1969.
During his time in office the hall was built. Funds were raised by fund raising events, donations and a loan.
The wooden alter was removed and the present green marble altar was erected.
The Catholic sign P with the X through it on the altar was donated by the Skea family.
The mosaic on the bottom of the tabernacle by Leo Theron was paid from parish funds.
The stain glass window by the altar (south wall) was donated by the Rouse family in memory of Reg Rouse and the north side stain glass window was paid for with parish funds. This was also done by Leo Theron.
The stain glass window of Our Lady was donated by Gwenda Michael.
The Stations of the Cross were designed and the tiles painted by Maria-Louise Mullan (the sister-in-law of Fr Mullan)
The Paschal Candle stand and two other candle stands were made by the late Jan Joubert and Colin Harrison
Father Mullan was appointed Military chaplain in December 1979.
Father Cyril Schulpen was appointed to St John Fisher Lynnwood. He only served one year and then retired.
Father Ken Spargo took office in 1981 until his death on 30 April 1993.
Msgr. Marc de Meuleneure was appointed parish priest by Archbishop George Daniel in December 1993. He left St John Fisher in April 2013 to take over the new parish in Zwaavelpoort – The Church of the Beatitudes.
The house used for the school was purchased. The piece of council ground in front of this house was purchased for either R35000-00 or R50000-00.
The double garage was converted into a flat.
The Garden of Remembrance was built.
The back of the foyer to the church was enclosed for a confessional and now used as a Repository.
The baptismal font was moved from the foyer to the altar.
The stain glass windows were all completed.
The Stations of the Cross needed a lot of repair as the tiles fell off and broke. Sharon Mitre was able to duplicate these and they were then put into frames.
The pipe organ which is now in use was purchased from the University of Pretoria, it was the old organ from the Old Monastery.
Father Brian Du Cann, a convert and minister from the Anglican Church, became a married priest at St John Fisher Lynnwood to help Msgr. Marc until his death.
The neighbouring parish at Zwaavelpoort was built, with St John Fisher Lynnwood helping with funding. The two parishes worked as one until May 2013.
In August 2011 St John Fisher Lynnwood celebrated our Golden Jubilee.
The church was tiled in the altar area and new lighting installed.
The neighbouring parish at Zwaavelpoort was built, with financial assistance from St John Fisher, Lynnwood Parish. The two parishes worked as one until May 2013 when they became two independent parishes, however up until 2019 financial assistance was provided for The Church of the Beatitudes to enable the new priest Father Chris Townsend to run the parish.
Father Craig Laubscher was appointed parish priest here at St. John Fisher from May 2013 to January 2014.
Between January and May 2014 Fr Gordon and Fr Karabo alternated to celebrate Mass.
Now it’s a new era! Father Bogdan Wilkaniec (SChr) was appointed as parish priest for English and Polish parishioners in May 2014. He is Polish but has been living in South Africa for more than 30 years. His last parish was The Immaculate Conception in Hercules.
A lot has been done over the years including:
The padding of kneelers on the pews re-upholstered twice.
A new car for the parish priest as well as new vestments and candles were purchased.
The purchase and installation of a beautiful new tabernacle from Poland. The old tabernacle was installed to house the Holy Oils.
Two new paintings by Zenon Rozycki were donated and hung in the church.
One is St John Fisher and the other is the picture of Divine Mercy.
The asbestos roof was removed from the priest’s current house and replaced with tiles.
Garage doors, parking lights and security gates where installed.
A new security system was installed by ITEC – Izinyoni Company – the owner is our Chairman Chris Botha who installed the system free of charge. The Church only had to carry the cost of the equipment. Camera and alarms where installed.
New overhead projectors were installed.
The Confessional was restored by James McBride by placing a partition between the confessor and the priest. Daily confessions are available or on request. James McBride also covered the pulpit area that was damaged with wooden slats.
The Altar of Adoration was refurbished and completed with marble borders. A new chalice, paten and cruet set together with corporals, purificators, altar cloths and palls bought. A wooden bulletin box, and votive candle and laptop stand was made. A water purifying system was installed in the sacristy.
General maintenance continues to keep the parish busy. New curtains in the hall, new table cloths bought, irrigation repaired, a new 7 X 14m tent purchased and lots of painting done. The pipe organ had a service. A new keyboard and microphone was purchased. Stations of the Cross were erected in the garden. New icons were bought, lights behind the Crucifix, benches fixed in the church. Window’s brass handles cleaned by the youth group. The sacristy safe was carpeted. Fire damage in the area of Our Lady’s altar was painted. All the windows had new putty placed in them and painted. New chairs and tables where bought. Palisade fencing were erected around the whole church including the new land that was transferred into the parish’s name from the municipality. Electronic gates installed. Fans were repaired. The new parking area was paved. A ramp for the disabled built. ADT were contracted to secure the car park and church car park property at a cost of R5500-00 pm. The church was paved at the entrance. Electric fencing repaired. Garden equipment was purchased. The servant’s cottage renovated. An ongoing project of painting walls, doors and windows is done by our painter.
Two domestic workers were employed. Herman the gardener of many years was retained
A second new tent purchased in 2020. The old one was destroyed by a couple of bad storms. The insurance paid out R9500-00 which went towards the new tent.
Father Bogdan introduced weekday morning Masses and morning prayers with the daily rosary being said – except on Tuesday which is his day off. Five Masses are said over the weekend. The Haggadah Meal was introduced.
Readers, ministers of the Eucharist and catechism teachers have been well trained and inspired. Eucharistic Ministers were given robes to wear during Mass. Lectionaries were restored and bound in leather. The Renew Group was implemented.
A parish secretary was appointed in February 2015 and all parishioners were registered on a data base as well as a mailing list of all parishioners who re-registered was compiled. New office equipment was bought. A finance committee was formed. A new catechism co-ordinator, Francis Ward who replaced Frank Alton who held this position for many years, joined the team in 2018
Renovation to the Pre-School buildings began on 4 July 2016. Painting inside and outside, the high pressure cleaning of the roof, tiling throughout and new office and consulting room for Father redone and a parish secretary office was also refurbished. The contractor was Fernando Frazao (firstname.lastname@example.org) Contact number 082 787 4300 / 012-343 2638. The architect was Mike Payne (email@example.com). The civil engineer was Peter McCartan (firstname.lastname@example.org). The other members of the building committee were Father Bogdan Wilkaniec (SChr), the chairman of the Parish Council – Chris Botha (email@example.com) 083 291 1413 and the parish secretary Sabie Pattinson (firstname.lastname@example.org) 084 583 1206. The cost of the alterations was in the region of R330000-00. Jimmy McBride very kindly refurbished the kitchen cupboards in the catechism/office block.
The lighting was kindly donated by Trevor Mayberry 082 773 3438.The presbytery was rewired.
New Christmas decorations were bought and a stage was built in the hall.
Room dividers were brought from Hercules parish.
Braais were repaired.
The property No. 1055 was finally transferred into the church’s name now known as Erf. 1056. A new parking area was finished in 2018. Gardens were established in the parking area. A ramp was for the disabled was constructed.
A book exchange was introduced in the hall.
A water purifying system was installed in the sacristy.
The Grotto for Our Lady was built. The landscaper was Dominique Breetzke. A statue of Our Lady was donated by Suzie Monkam. Margie Duarte also donated a statue of Our Lady for the foyer of the church together with two small urns placed in the grotto.
The rocks and lots of cement was donated by many parishioners and the cost to build the grotto was R13500-00.
The entire Presbytery house was renovated and the asbestos ceilings inside the house were removed. The gardens where cleaned up by removing hazardous trees and planting new ones. New appliances where bought.
CAR PARK 2018:
The car park was completed in August 2018 together with the levelling of the municipal circle known as “Palm Park”.
Numerous meetings were held with the City of Tshwane, the DA Ward Councillor and members from the municipality hierarchy regarding the use of “Palm Park” for parking. This is a saga that will continue to be a burden on the parish. It is expected that ONLY the Church are to inject funds into refurbishing this municipal area with no concrete assurance that it will not be used for something the municipality might decide to do.
The trees that were removed from the garage area created sinkholes as the roots died. PaveArt repaired and filled in these holes.
SPECIAL MENTION 2018:
PRO ECCLESIA ET PONTIFICE ~ FATHER BOGDAN WILKANIEC (SChr)
It is with great pleasure that we confirm that Father Bogdan received the Pro Ecclesia ET Pontifice Award in 2018. Archbishop William Slattery concelebrated Holy Mass with Father Bogdan, Apostolic Nuncio Peter Wells and Msgr. Roman Walczak on: SUNDAY 6TH JANUARY 2019 @ THE 09H30 MASS.
More paving is to be decided upon for easy access to the catechism/office block especially for the elderly to manage. It will considered to replace the paving at the Garden of Rememberance. Second tent was purchased and erected. The cost of the new tent after insurance received was R10300-00. A new lawnmower was bought at a cost of R10 110-80.
The parish was closed as at the end of March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.