At a meeting on Friday 26th June between Archbishop Stack, Fr Matthew, Fr Gareth Leyshon of St Philip Evans and Fr William Isaac of St Teilo’s, the future provision of priests for this area of Cardiff, the so-called “Northern Arc”, was discussed. The Archbishop made the decision that in the light of ongoing uncertainty concerning his return, and the wider needs of the diocese, Fr Tomy would not be coming back to our 3 Churches, and that we should therefore plan for the presence of only 3 priests in the area, and not 4.
This decision was made independently of the start this week of our summer schedule of weekend Masses. The decision has wide implications for us, and for me as an individual, that I am only just coming to terms with. The fact that it was made on the day before my birthday didn’t help! As it is, the summer schedule allows us to get through the summer and to plan for the longer term future, not just in our 3 Churches, but across the Northern Arc, where there will need to be more of the cooperation that we have recently been putting into action.
The recent A.G.M. at Christ the King served to remind me once more of the wide variety of activities there and across our 3 Churches, and the large number of people involved in them. Although we may complain from time to time of there not being enough volunteers etc, I can assure you that compared to most parishes in the diocese, and our friends in other denominations, we do well. This gives me great hope for a future without so many priests, a future which has suddenly landed right in our laps.
So while this decision knocked me off my perch, as they say, during this week, I’m climbing back on and know that we can all work together for the future, with the help of our friends, the priests and people of our neighbouring parishes, and, of course, with the grace of the Lord himself, and the prayers of Our Lady, St Brigid and St Paul.