(Archived from Landing page)

Click here for the video interview with Fr Charles

And a final message from Fr Charles:

FAREWELL When everything is changing around you, it’s sort of dizzying, and also can be sad or fearful. For myself, as a priest leaving a parish after 20 years, it’s at times overwhelming. You’re in what spirituality calls the threshold. You’re not where you’ve been but you’re not yet where you’re going. Deeper than these feelings is the possibility of being renewed (if you’re open enough to go with the feelings). You can find yourself letting go of some things, emptying yourself and making space for newness — a great biblical theme.

Practically for me, leaving St Mary’s, has meant also a number of us working to empty the parish house and outside shed and church of unnecessary clutter (mea culpa, mea culpa !!) but also setting things up for Fr Anthony Nnamah, the computer, lists of various items etc. It’s meant realising how many books I’ve gathered and getting them ready to travel and lots more !! A big thank you to all of you who have been helping with all this. I’m very grateful. A big thank you from me, too, for the huge amount of prayers and good wishes and gifts from you all in the parish. This is very humbling and very moving for me.

One special day was last Thursday in Christ the Word Catholic School, where the staff and children prepared an amazing send-off, with a film full of farewell messages and songs, plus a variety of gifts, collages and huge farewell cards beautifully decorated by the children. I went round the lower school classes to say goodbye to the children – an experience that will remain in my memory always. Many of them recalled jokes and stories I’ve told over the years. I reminded them of the power of story telling, encouraged them to ;earn the art (keep practising, use your memory etc) And that the Great Story of all stories is the bible message about the life of Jesus and the centuries preparing for his coming.

I would love it if Fr Anthony MSP, a missionary priest, would experience the same marvellous community life and spirit that I’ve been so lucky to have myself and which will be carried in my heart always. I’m sure he will. Many blessings to you all and your families.