Our congratulations, our thanks and our prayers for Fr. Kevin Bidgood, who having reached the canonical age, is retiring this Lent. We thank God and pray for him. Fr. Kevin, who came originally from the Isle of Wight, was for many years an Anglican priest, latterly within the Diocese of Winchester, until his reception into the Catholic Church in 1994. He trained at St. John’s Wonersh and was ordained on 5th September 1998 and served in St. Edmund’s Southampton. Later, he served in the Havant Pastoral Area and became parish priest of Sacred Heart Waterlooville until his appointment in 2017 to St. Francis’s Ascot. I remember when asking him if he would be willing to go to Ascot to serve there, he told me he had never been in the north of the Diocese. I assured him he would like it – and he did! As he retires, the parishioners of Ascot, I know, will miss him very much. Let us pray to the Lord for him, for good health and a happy rest.
In succession to Fr. Kevin, I have appointed Fr. Phillip Harris as the Priest-in-Charge. He will be working closely with Canon David Hopgood in Windsor. I thank Fr. Phillip for his generosity in this and for all the help and support he gave to Fr Kevin Hoiles in the parish of Southbourne, as well as the supply work he undertook locally. Please pray for him as he begins this new appointment.