Retirement of Fr. Leo Pyle is Announced

Thursday 08 November 2018

To all parishes in the Heavenfield Partnership.

Last week Fr Leo Pyle met Bishop Seàmus and indicated his intention to retire from his current role as Parish Priest at Haltwhistle and Haydon Bridge. Fr. Christopher Warren, who also attended that meeting, has been asked by Bishop Seàmus to take on that role, and has agreed to do so from 1st January 2019.

The Bishop also wanted to ensure that the new arrangements did not put a further strain on the already stretched active clergy in the Partnership.  He has therefore decided that from the New Year there should be a single Sunday Mass between the two churches, and that this will be said at Saint John’s Haydon Bridge.  He had carefully considered other possibilities including alternating venues for Mass, but decided against it in favour of a fixed venue.

Fr. Christopher, and the other clergy, together with the Partnership Development Group will now look afresh at the Sunday and weekday Mass arrangements in Hexham, Haltwhistle, and Haydon Bridge, and see how these can best be scheduled, taking into account the previous planning that has been done for such eventualities.

There is no change to the status of our buildings as yet. The Diocese has previously announced a review of property and resources, and our Partnership will take part in the piloting of that programme. We will all have a role to play in looking at how best we can use or adapt our physical and community resource.

As Parishioners we all now have to come to terms with the changes that this will bring about. We will have the opportunity to say thank you to Fr. Leo for his extraordinary service to the Church over the years, and to welcome our new Parish Priest.  We will also have to adapt, change, and share in many new ways. 

As with many changes in life, there will be new opportunities as well as disappointments.  You are all invited to be involved in shaping the future of the Church in this part of Northumberland in the way that best advances the Gospel.  Please take an active part in the various meetings and processes that will guide our way forward.

Fr Christopher Warren (Dean of Heavenfield Partnership)

Joe Ronan (Chair of Heavenfield Partnership Development Group)

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