NOTICES FOR JUNE 30th –July 1st 2007.


This year has been a difficult one for the Diocese. We have lost two active parish priests who have died, one at Cobham, Canon Tony Clarke, and one at Camberley, Father Michael Reynolds. Two or three other priests have retired. On the positive side we have had three new priests ordained in the past 12 months. This has meant that a number of moves have become necessary this year.

Among them the 2nd Vicar General, Mgr Benny O’Shea will be moving from Bognor to Esher to replace Mgr Barry Wymes who is retiring.

The Bishop has asked me to take his place as the Parish Priest of Bognor with Slindon and Barnham. Father Terry Martin, whom many of you will know, will stay on at Bognor as my Assistant Priest. The Bishop asked me to make it clear that I certainly did not ask for a move. Indeed I expected to stay here for a few more years. It was the Bishop’s wish that I should take on the responsibility for Bognor. As you can imagine, the Bishop’s task of meeting the needs of the whole Diocese is not an easy one. Deaths and retirements always cause other moves to be made.

I shall be very sad to leave Seaford after 8 years here as your Parish Priest. I have been very happy here, and will have many happy memories of Seaford and of you all. At the same time I am looking forward to the challenge of a new parish. I hope that you will remember me in your prayers. I will certainly be praying for you.

I am pleased to tell you that the Bishop has appointed Father Niven Richardson, as your new Parish Priest. He is currently the Parish Priest at Bagshot and Camberley North. I am sure that you will make him as welcome as you made me eight years ago.

The change will take place in September.

Father Tony: June 30th 2007

Update: July 8th 2007

As I told you last weekend, the Bishop has asked me to go as Parish Priest to Bognor Regis to replace Mgr Benny O’Shea who is moving to Esher. I had no idea that a move was likely, and was very surprised when the Bishop telephoned me last week to ask me about it. The Bishop did not insist on the move, but I recognised that he would not be asking me to go unless he thought it necessary. Bognor is, in fact, the largest parish in Sussex apart from Crawley. Mgr Benny O’Shea became the 2nd Vicar General last year, and for that reason is moving to a Surrey parish. The other Vicar General, Mgr John Hull is based in Sussex at Patcham. Bognor is a very different parish to Seaford, and it will be quite a challenge for me, but I am sure that it would have been wrong for me to have said “no” to the Bishop. I hope that you will remember me in your prayers in these coming months especially.

I will celebrate my Last Sunday Mass here on September 23rd, and will leave for Bognor on Tuesday September 25th. Father Niven Richardson hopes to be here during the following week on or about October 1st and will celebrate his first Sunday with you on October 7th, Rosary Sunday.

I am sure that you will make him welcome here, as you did me eight years ago. It is never easy to move from one parish to another, and you can do so much to make it easier for him.

Father Tony

Update: September 2nd 2007

My last Mass here as Parish Priest will be at 10.30 on Sunday September 23rd, and I shall be leaving on Monday 24th. Fr Niven Richardson will arrive here on or about October 1st. Please pray for us both during this time of transition. It is never easy to move, and the longer one has been in a parish the harder it becomes. I know that we would both value your prayers very much.

Father Tony

Update September 23rd 2007

My dear friends,

I have been writing to you each week now for eight years, and this will be my last letter as your parish priest. There is so much that I could say, but I think it better simply to thank you for your support and for your love and friendship over these years. It is not easy to be a parish priest, and it makes a huge difference when people are as generous and supportive as so many of you have been. I want to thank everyone who has helped me in any way during these last years. I am very grateful for all that you have done.

I am sure that you will welcome your new parish priest just as you welcomed me in 1999.
Please pray for him and for me as we face the challenge of a new parish.

I will certainly pray for all of you.

With my love and prayers for each of you,

My new address:

The Parish Centre,
Clarence Road,
Bognor Regis,
West Sussex
PO23 1JX

Tel: 01243 823619

A letter to Father Tony Sept 2007

The parishioners of St Thomas More would like to say a big Thank You to Fr Tony for providing us with the daily Masses and regular chances for confession and all the extra occasions of praise and prayer for our development on our spiritual path. We shall remember his instructive homilies where we have learnt so much about Christ and Gospels, and wish him happiness in his new parish. Fr.Tony ,We will keep you in our prayers!!

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