YOUNG and old alike took part in the birthday celebrations of a popular priest - who is marking his half century in the church.
Sprightly 97-year-old Louis McRaye is still involved with parish duties at Our Lady of the Wayside Church in Shirley.
A party was held at neighbouring Our Lady of the Wayside School last Friday, attended by members of the church’s Friday Club and pupils. Youngsters performed Irish dancing, gymnastics, piano recitals and Father McRaye was presented with a knitted bible cover.
It’s 50 years since the priest joined the church, though he admitted to the Solihull News that he was later taking the vocation than he’d hoped.
“It was something I considered as a teenager, but then the war broke out and I ended-up going into the airforce, so I had to put it off a bit,” he said.
Headteacher of Our Lady of the Wayside Bart O’Shea said: “The whole school adores him.”