Fr Tim’s 80th Birthday Celebration

We are very fortunate that in Rickmansworth we have Fr Tim Dean living in retirement. Whenever one of our priests goes away he is always happy to step in to celebrate Mass. On Wednesday 27th May Fr Tim celebrated a Mass marking his 80th birthday at Our Lady Help of Christians Church, Rickmansworth. Parishioners from across our three parishes came to join the celebration, as well as a number of priests who Fr Tim has worked with over the last 30 years. After the Mass there was a wonderful buffet lunch served by our parishioners and  a very large birthday cake to share. We wish Fr Tim a very blessed 80th year.

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Photo courtesy of Fabby Montesdeoca.
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Mass of thanksgiving for the life and ministry of Fr Jim Duffy

On Tuesday 23rd November the parish had a Mass for Fr Jim Duffy, who was parish priest of Rickmansworth from 1987-2013. Fr Jim died on 28 December 2020 and sadly it was not possible for a large number of people to gather for his funeral in January 2021, due to the pandemic restrictions. This was then, a wonderful opportunity for the parish to gather in greater numbers to give thanks for Fr Jim’s love and devotion to the flock that was entrusted to him, and to pray that he is now rewarded for his faithful ministry. In the Tribute, given by Robert Whelan, it was commented that as well as his great service to the people of Rickmansworth, Fr Jim also had a great love for the liturgy and during his time in the parish he oversaw the re-ordering of the Church to enable it to be celebrated worthily. Fr Jim was a man of great faith and an incredible witness of God’s love in our community. May he rest in peace.


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Westminster Synodal Pathway

On Sunday 21st November our parish had a meeting answering the call of Pope Francis to take part in the Synodal Journey in preparation for the Synod of Bishops in 2023. This meeting supplemented similar discussions that have taken place in other parish forums in recent weeks. Those who attended took part with great openness in reflecting on our journey through the pandemic and the way that Church has supported us, and looking forward to a period of renewal and growth in our mission in the years ahead. These reflections will now be collated and sent forward to the diocese so that the Bishops can discern what the Spirit is saying to the Church in these times.

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Welcome to our new Parish Priest

At the start of September our new parish priest, Fr Andrew Gallagher, arrived in the parishes. Fr Andrew was ordained a priest in 2011 and has served as Assistant Priest in St Monica’s, Palmers Green (2011-2014) and Our Lady and St Joseph’s Church, Dalston Kingsland (2014-16). For the past five years he has been the Precentor of Westminster Cathedral with responsibility for the liturgy and special services. Fr Andrew is also the Assistant Director for the Westminster Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes, helping to organise taking a large group from across the diocese to the shrine each July. Having grown up in Harpenden Fr Andrew is pleased to be posted to his native Hertfordshire and looks forward to working with our three parishes and continuing the good work of Fr Shaun in bringing our communities together whilst also maintaining their unique and special characters.

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Farewell to Fr Shaun

After 8 years bringing our cluster of parishes together as parish priest, at the end of July 2021 Fr Shaun Church left the parishes for a well-deserved sabbatical year. He concluded his time with us celebrating a Mass in each parish followed by an outdoor reception and parishioners came out in the greatest numbers we have seen since the beginning of the pandemic to say farewell. In his last homily to the parish Fr Shaun focused on the phrase from St Paul’s prayer for the Philippians: ‘that your love for each other may increase more and more and never stop improving your knowledge and deepening your perception so that you can always recognise what is best’. He echoed this prayer asking for the parishes to always remember that ‘what is best’ must be what is best for our mission of evangelisation, rather than just for self-preservation. We wish Fr Shaun every blessing in his ministry in the years ahead and thank him for all his hard work in our parishes.

Photos courtesy of Paul Burke

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