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Farewell to Bishop Michael Perham, retiring after nine years as our Protector.

Members of all three Orders of The Society of St Francis  from various parts of the country gathered at St Philip and St James Church Plaistow in east London on Monday 8th December for a Eucharist and lunch to celebrate the Feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and to mark Bishop Michael’s retirement as Bishop Protector for the European Province of The Society of St. Francis, occasioned by his retirement as Bishop of Gloucester.

Br Benedict, the brothers’ Minister Provincial presided at the Eucharist, and Sr Helen Julian, CSF Minister General and former Minister Provincial, gave the homily. Sr Damien OSC, Abbess at Freeland, read the epistle, and Rev Joanna Coney TSSF, formerly Minister Provincial for the Third Order, who was representing Averil Swanton TSSF, the current Minister Provincial, read the gospel. Sr Sue CSF, the sisters’ Minister Provincial also took part in the service, and expressed the Society’s thanksgiving for Bishop Michael’s ministry with us, presenting him with gifts – a picture of the courtyard at Hilfield and book tokens, as a sign of our appreciation.

 

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Bishop Michael during the presentation, following the Eucharist.

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Bishop Michael and Brother Samuel, Guardian of the Hilfield Community, holding Minna Harvey’s picture of the Courtyard. Sr Sue and Sr Damien can be seen in the background.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back in June Bishop Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford, was chosen by all three Orders as the new Bishop Protector, to take over at Bishop Michael’s retirement.  We are very grateful to Bishop Stephen for agreeing to take on this role, and look forward to his ministry among us.

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Bishop Stephen Cottrell