Farewell to Margate


It was sad to have to pack up and leave Margate this week, saying goodbye to such good people who helped with the worship of God, the care of the poor, the formation of children in the faith, and the stuff like unblocking drains and fixing roofs.

My health deteriorated so much by the early part of this year that I was no longer able to discharge the duties and responsibilities of a parish priest, nor was I likely to be able to do so in the foreseeable future. Archbishop Smith kindly accepted my resignation from the office of parish priest and gave his blessing to my convalescing in Bournemouth where I am being looked after by one of my sisters.

Competent medical care and the good cooking of my sister have helped to improve my health considerably over the past couple of months. The community at the Oratory-in-Formation, the Sacred Heart in central Bournemouth, have been most kind to me, first of all by visiting to bring me Holy Communion at home, and then by making it as easy as possible for me to start offering Mass again. I have been using their splendid Lady Altar. Here it is:

I still have various tests to take and hurdles to get over, and probably some surgical intervention to undergo and recover from, before I will know what I am able to do for the future as a priest. So I can’t make any sure predictions, but one thing that I do hope to be able to do is to write some more.

The many kind and prayerful messages that people have sent on Twitter and by email have been a great consolation. I am sure that your intercession has been effective not only for my physical health but also in helping me to cope with what has been a psychological roller-coaster. Thank you.

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