When 6th Airborne Division was inserted into Normandy on night 5th /6th June 1944 Ranville Parish Church effectively became a Regimental Chapel of The Parachute Regiment, and all Airborne Forces.
The People of Ranville took our fallen and laid them gently to rest in the churchyard.

Then from the First Normandy Pilgrimage in 1946 onwards a Special Airborne Mass has been said in the church each year on 6th June, and successive Parish Priests, as they have been appointed, have been inducted as Parachute Regiment Padres
and appropriately kitted out.

However in 2009 – D + 65 years the church was closed for public worship due to an unsafe roof, and the special mass had to be said in a marquee. The roof had not been repaired by 6th June 2010 and again the special mass had to be said in a marquee.

The likely cost of repairing the roof is 160,000 euros.
By June 2010 Ranville had raised 40,000 euros towards same.

I have just been advised that authority was given to start the repairs in October last. It is to be hoped that the repairs
will be completed by the end of May 2011 but then there will still be a considerable amount of funding to be raised to pay off the outstanding debt.

May I suggest that it would be greatly appreciated by the People of Ranville if ALL members of Airborne Forces, Past and Present, were each to make a token contribution of say £1, towards the cost of the repairs to the Roof of Ranville Parish Church.
Such a token donation by all could be expected to raise in the region of £40,000 – a worthy and not insignificant gesture.

Also you may care to note that the
Conseil General (County Council) will donate 1 Euro for each Euro donated

Thanking you in anticipation of your generous support

John Mason, Lieutenant

In 1944, 591 (Antrim) Parachute Squadron
Royal Engineers, 6th Airborne Division


By Cheque or Postal Order made payable to

“Mr J R V Mason” and sent to -

Mr J R V Mason,
73 Chewton Common Road,
BH23 5LZ, (England)

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