Last night, there was a great gathering in St Gregory's School here in Cheltenham, to say goodbye to our Catholic parish priest Fr. John Blacker. He is moving on Wednesday next week to Marlborough, and we have a new parish priest arriving (from Bristol), Fr. Bosco MacDonald.
Fr. John will be specially missed for the kindness he always showed to the children of the parish - in this photograph, he was reassuring those just about to process in to their First Holy Communion mass, in June this year.
Fr. Bosco has a heavy workload facing him: St Gregory's priests are taking over responsibility for the adjoining St Thomas More's parish, as their priest, Fr. Mark Moran is also leaving Cheltenham for a new parish, Amesbury: such is the shortage of priests that the Bishop can't replace him.