I am delighted to have been asked by Bishop Philip to become parish priest at St. James and St William of York following Fr. John’s retirement. I am looking forward to meeting everyone in the parish community and to being with you as we try to live out our vocation as committed Disciples of Jesus.
An image I have of priests, that I sometimes reflect on, is that priests are like ships that sail into a port, they share and receive many blessings with and from the community of that port. . . after some time they head back out to sea heading for another port; dock for some time there too and then sail off again to another port.
I was ordained priest 30 years ago this year, so over the years there has been quite a bit of heading out to different ports. . .
I will be joining you having just shared 5 years of ministry as parish priest at Our Lady Help of Christians, Farnborough. Prior to that, I served as parish priest in Battersea, south west London, for 12 years. Before that, I was parish priest at Muirhouse, Edinburgh for 4 years and before all that, I helped over 4 years as parish priest to establish the parish community of Holy Innocents, at Monrovia, Liberia. And there have been one or two other things in between too!
So, the Bishop has asked me to head out to the next port, I am sure St James and St. William of York will be a place of grace and blessing, just as my previous ports have been. I have a deep gratitude for my life and ministry as a priest and for all that has brought me to your parish community.
As we meet in September and as we get used to our changed lives in these Covid-days, let’s set out together, to continue to hear and respond to the Gospel and to do our best, by the way we live our lives, to share the Good News with those whom we meet.
See you soon! Fr Chris