Portsmouth Diocese e-News Issue 436

February 27th, 2024
schools mass

Following a period of review, the Diocesan Trustees recently approved a plan for the full academisation of maintained schools into two Catholic Academy Trusts. We believe we have an ambitious plan that works for all and which, we pray, will enhance the ‘Catholicity’ of our schools, be advantageous to them, raise standards even higher and guarantee a solid basis for the future. You can read all about it below in an article by our Director for Education, Catherine Hobbs. In other news, let us pray for Fr. David Whitehead, one of our retired priests who died this last week – may he rest in peace – and also for Fr. Samuel Alabi, a Missionary of St. Paul, who has arrived as the assistant priest at English Martyrs, Reading. Also, our amazing Symposium on moral values, especially medical and social ethics, is only three weeks away! Do sign up for what promises to be an exciting and illuminating day. Thank you to all who have shared their news with us this week. May the Lord bless you and the whole of our Diocese during this Lenten season of grace.

Fr. David Whitehead R.I.P.

From the Bishop

fr david whitehead

Please pray for Fr. David Whitehead who died last Friday, in Marie Louise House, in Romsey where he has been living for the last years. He was 96.

David Whitehead was born on 15th April 1927 in Bournemouth. He was educated at Peterhouse, Cambridge, worked as a solicitor’s clerk and served in the Royal Air Force. A former Anglican cleric, he was received into the full communion of the Catholic Church and undertook his seminary studies at the Beda College in Rome. He was ordained to the priesthood on 25th January 1967 in the Sistine Chapel, by Pope Saint Paul VI. He first served as an assistant priest between 1967 and 1971 at St Mary & St Peter, Jersey. He then served as chaplain and choirmaster at St John’s College, Southsea and also took on the role of Director of Music at the Cathedral. This role expanded to Diocesan Director of Music. With an immense passion for liturgical music, Fr David was instrumental in establishing the Cathedral Boys’ Choir in 1979, which consisted of the Choir House of Our Lady & St John. This was initially located in Southsea but later relocated to Hayling Island. Throughout its years, it trained hundreds of choirboys. The Choir School closed in 1992. Subsequently, Fr David served as parish priest of St John’s, Lee-on-the-Solent until his retirement in 2002. Initially, he lived in retirement in Chandler’s Ford, before moving to Marie Louise House in Romsey. It was there he passed away, last Friday, 23rd February 2024.

Continue reading this edition of e-News here.