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Fr Tim

Fr Barrie has had his operation and he is in wonderful form, delighted that it is all over. We continue to pray that he will now make a complete and speedy recovery.

Redemptorist Appointment. The Provincial Council has issued the appointments for the coming four years and there is one major change affecting Bishop Eton: Fr Richard has been appointed as the new Rector and Parish Priest in Clapham and Fr Andy Burns is coming from Middlesbrough to replace him. Otherwise everyone else remains in post. I am honoured and happy to remain as parish priest of Bishop Eton and St Mary's, and after Easter together we will have a look at how best we can prepare for the future. We congratulate Fr Richard and wish him well as he takes on a plethora of new responsibilities. The changes will take place by the end of April so we will have time to say 'farewell' to him and prepare to welcome Fr Andrew, who is a contemporary of mine and is also a member of our Extraordinary Provincial Council.

Fr Barrie O’Toole. Fr Barrie has been making a retreat in Berkshire during the past week. Hopefully he will have his operation in the Royal this coming Thursday. Once again we ask your prayers for him and all those in our parishes struggling with health problems.

Freddie Freckles. I am delighted with the interest in Angela Rigby’s Freddie Freckles’ teddies. Copies of the pattern are in the sacristies and she has even prepared a starter kit if anyone would like to claim it. Once we know how many people are making them, we can market them among the families. It looks as though we may be on to something!

Today is Mothers’ Day: We offer a huge ‘thank you’ to all the mums of the parish for all you are and do. Have a wonderful day.

Freddie Freckles. Angela Rigby, who is the wife of our Deacon Bernard at St Mary’s, has come up with a wonderful pattern for making Freddie Freckles’ teddies, à la his picture on the front of the books. If anyone would like a copy of the pattern, please contact either Fr Tim or Angela. Anyone interested in starting a cottage industry?


Welcome Back. We welcome back Ann O'Neill to the office in St Mary's. We hope and pray that her back will continue to grow strong and that she will not require an operation. Over the next few weeks we will have the luxury of Kris in our own office, and Ann and Sara Eccleston at St Mary's.

Fr Barrie O'Toole. Unfortunately Fr Barrie's operation has been postponed for three weeks. He had one of those frustrating days on Thursday, waiting and fasting, only to be told that there was no theatre time left. He is very sanguine about it all: please keep him in your prayers.

Synod on the Family. Boston College (USA) has recently republished part of an article I wrote over 17 years ago. It is entitled: Second Marriage: An opportunity for Spiritual Growth? They are kindly making a large number of copies available to me, so they will be available once they have crossed the Atlantic. Furthermore, we must look for ways of responding to the new phase of consultation in preparation for the second session of the Synod next autumn.

Comings and Goings. This week both Fr Richard and I will be in London for a Provincial Council Meeting on Wednesday and I will be away for the inside of the day on Friday. The father of a close school friend of mine has died and the funeral is in Newark (Nottinghamshire). I am very grateful to Fr Pat O'Brien and Fr Stephen Pritchard for their help in covering Masses and a funeral this week.

Fr Barrie O'Toole. This Thursday Fr Barrie is back in hospital for the reversal of his original operation. All being well he should only be in for a couple of days, but it will certainly take him a while to recover fully. I know he can count on your prayers again that all will go well and that he will make a complete and speedy recovery. Unfortunately, Fr Jimmy Smale has also been unwell recently and is undergoing tests. Please keep him in your prayers too. With Fr Richard away during the coming weeks, undoubtedly we are going to be under pressure to maintain the present timetable. Therefore, please be prepared for the fact that we may have to adjust it accordingly.


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