Dioceses of Salford and Shrewsbury’s performing priests raise thousands for Caritas Ukraine

Priests from the Diocese of Salford and Shrewsbury raised the roof last week after resurrecting their band in support of Caritas Ukraine.

Clergy rock band The Mercy Brothers is a group of priests from Salford and Shrewsbury Dioceses who use their musical talents to share Gospel values and raise vital funds for charity.

Since its humble beginnings in the Year of Mercy (2015-2016), the band has raised a whopping £10,000 on average each year for various causes and this year, the boys were back in town to raise funds to buy electrical generators for schools and nurseries in Ukraine.

Taking to the stage at St John Fisher’s in Denton on Friday 9th June was parish priest Fr Joe Gee on guitar, Fr Chris Gorton from St Cuthbert’s in Bolton on keys, and Fr Mark Harold, from St Mary’s in Bamber Bridge, performing as the band’s lead singer.

Fr Christopher Gorton playing the keyboard and Fr Mark Harold in front of a microphone and playing the guitar

They were also delighted to welcome Fr Nick Kern from the Diocese of Shrewsbury and lay member, Tom, as the band’s drummer.

Almost 200 people crowded into the parish hall to hear all their favourite classics, such as “I’m a Believer”, “Knock, Knock, Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”, and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”, whilst enjoying the opportunity to taste some delicious Ukrainian cuisine.

Fr Joe Gee was delighted to host the event following a request from a parishioner.

He said: “I was approached by a member of the parish with links to the Manchester Ukrainian community about the possibility of a parish fundraiser.

“I told him that I actually had the clergy band lined up for a parish event but we could put the two together.

“A member of the Ukrainian community then came and spoke at all the parish masses one weekend, and as they had already raised money for electrical generators for schools and nurseries via Caritas Ukraine, we said we’d donate our funds to the cause.”

Together with funds from the raffle, the evening raised a total of £2,200.

Fr Joe Gee playing the guitar at the Mercy Brothers fundraiser