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News and Events

Latest news from the Diocese Minimize

G K Chesterton12th August - Bishop Peter has been much in the news last weekend, as the American Chesterton Society released a letter he had written in April to their president, Dale Ahlquist,in which he explained his difficult decision, that he could not recommend the further progressing of a Cause for Chesterton's canonisation.  (This comes under Bishop Peter's authority as Chesterton was a resident of Beaconsfield, in our Diocese.)

Bishop Peter said "I am very conscious of the devotion to G K Chesterton in many parts of the world and of his inspiring influence on so many people, and this makes it difficult to communicate the conclusion to which I have come.That conclusion is that I am unable to promote the cause of G K Chesterton for three reasons. Firstly, and most importantly, there is no local cult. Secondly, I have been unable to tease out a pattern of personal spirituality. And, thirdly, even allowing for the context of G K Chesterton’s time, the issue of anti-Semitism is a real obstacle particularly at this time in the United Kingdom.As a very unworthy servant of the Church, I recognise Chesterton’s goodness and his ability to evangelise but, in my heart of hearts, I believe that he himself would not want any fuss other than asking his prayers for the Church today and praying for him.I realise that this is very disappointing for you and for the vast number of people around the world who have such a high regard for Chesterton, and I think particularly of the American Chestertonian Society."

30th July -  Bishop Peter has announced some further clergy moves for Septemberto complete the 11th July list below

Canon John Koenig moves from Kettering to Olney as Parish Priest.  as an interim measure, Fr Gregory Marchwinski, who has been assisting at Our Lady's Corby, goes to Kettering as priest-in-charge, to be assisted by  Fr Wilson Sebastian MSFS, who has also been at Our Lady's. 

Fr Paul Hardy is retiring after 28 years loyal service at St Edwards Milton Keynes and as chaplain at St Paul's School. The parish and school will now become part of the St Barnabas cluster.  Fr Paul will also step down from his role as editor of The Vine after the September issue is prepared.  (Arrangements are in hand for its continuation.)

Fr Nathanael  Onwuekwe (Nnewi, Nigeria) moves from St Josephs Bedford to join the team at the St Barnabas cluster in Milton Keynes. .

Deacon  Kevin Ryan will go to assist Canon Seamus Keenan at St Josephs Bedford, to which the Bishop is unable to appoint an assistant priest 

Nor can a priest be appointed to St Margaret's, Luton, which will be vacant upon the departure of Fr Misiura to Sacred Heart Luton.  In the interim Mgr Kevin McGinnell (the Area Dean)  will act as Parish Priest, celebrating the 5pm Vigil Mass at St Thomas, Caddington, and Fr David Barrett, while remaining resident at High Wycombe, will celebrate the Sunday Masses at St Margaret's. (9am and 11am)

Deacon Keith Watson is retiring from ministry at Kettering after 13 years. . 

26th July - A TIME TO LISTEN. This is the Bishop's initiative to improve the way that the Diocese responds to, and engages with, victims and survivors of abuse. Bishop Peter Doyle is available to meet with anyone affected by abuse, as a victim, survivor, their families or supporters, where private discussions can take place in a safe and non judgmental environment. Bishop Peter has ensured that he is able to meet with people affected by abuse on a bi-monthly basis or more frequently, depending on your request. These sessions can be accessed through our safeguarding office on 01604 723514 or safeguarding@northamptondiocese.com. There will be a special Mass at St Mary's Woburn Sands for victims, survivors and anyone affected on 12th October. Basic poster here. more info to follow.


Biahop Peter ordaining Fr David Donaghue20th July - David Donaghue was ordained as a priest for the Diocese at the Cathedral this day. Congratulations Fr David !  More photos of his ordination are on Flickr here, a video recording can be watched here. and photos of his first Mass at St Gregory's Northampton next day are here.   Fr David will go to Our Lady's, Corby

Deacon Erik Kerr13th July - Erik  Kerr was ordained to the Permanent Diaconate at St Josephs, Luton, where he will mostly undertake his ministry

11th July - Bishop Peter has announced the following clergy news, and moves  to take place in September 2019

Father Tony Brennan to become Parish Priest of St Mary’s, Dunstable with St Vincent de Paul, Houghton Regis

Father Andy Richardson to be Parish Priest of Holy Family and St John’s, Luton

Father Joseph Udoh MSP to be Parish Priest of Our Lady of Peace, Burnham with St Andrew’s, Cippenham

Father Mirek Misiura to be Parish Priest of Sacred Heart, Stopsley, Luton

Father Benedetto D’Autilia to be Parish Priest of Blessed John Henry Newman Parish, High Wycombe

Father Lijo Payikkattu MSFS to be Priest in Charge of St Teresa’s, Princes Risborough upon Fr Joseph Kuttivayalil's return to India

Father Emanuel Okami (Ilorin, Nigeria) (who has been at Burnham) to be Assistant Priest of St Thomas Aquinas and All Saints, Bletchley

We wish all our priests on the move this summer well in their new parishes.We especially pray for Fr Christopher Whitehouse and Fr Malcom Bull who are retiring this summer. Not all move-decisions  are complete yet and further details will follow (see 30th July item above) . 

Fr Alessandro Reno, who has been on loan from the Diocese of Portoviejo in Ecuador, is now incardinated into the Diocese and will continue to serve at Chesham and Great Missenden. 

Deacon Daniel Rooke29th June - Daniel Rooke was ordained to the transitional Diaconate at Oscoitt College. 

3rd May 2019 - having attained the age of 75 this day, Bishop Peter, as required by Canon Law, has formally tendered his resignation to the Holy Father, but assures us that he will remain as our bishop until a replacement is appointed, which could take around 18 months.  Prayer cards whereby we seek the Lord's help for the right appointment have been distributed to parishes.  We are not the only Diocese facing a retirement:  Bishop Hopes of East Anglia was 75 in March, and Archbishop Smith of Southwark reached that age last October. 


On 14th March 2019, Father Francis McDermott, a retired Priest for the Diocese of Northampton, was sentenced to 9 years 11 months in prison, following his convictions on 18 counts of child sexual abuse.Following the sentencing and further to the statement issued on 19th February 2019, Bishop Peter Doyle, Bishop of Northampton, issued the following statement

“My heart goes out to all those affected by these terrible crimes. How courageous the women and men have been after having carried the wounds of abuse for more than forty years. My hope is that the sentence today will aid in the long journey of healing for the victims and survivors of this abuse. I wish to reassure you all that abuse of any kind is not tolerated in the Church and that we will together, lay people and clergy, continue the building of safe environments for all.” 

Bishop Peter Doyle, Bishop of Northampton, 14th March 2019.

4th March 2019 - Catholic Insurance Service Ltd, who provide and advise on insurance for our parishes and activities, have just moved their offices from Aylesbury ; they are now at Suite 5, Oxford House, Oxford Road, Thame,  OX9 2AH.  Their phone number and e-mail remain the same - 01296 4220303, enquiries@catholicinsuranceservice.co.uk. Website http://catholicinsuranceservice.co.uk/about-us/

19th February 2019 -  Press Statement -  Father Francis McDermott, a priest of the Diocese of Northampton, was found guilty on this date of 18 counts of child sexual abuse offences following a trial at Aylesbury Crown Court. Sentencing for these offences has been adjourned to take place on 14th March 2019. 

The Bishop of the Diocese of Northampton, the Right Reverend Peter Doyle, acknowledges the immense courage of the victims in coming forward. It is acknowledged that the trial has been a very difficult time and the Bishop is conscious of how devastating the offences committed by Father Francis McDermott will have been for the victims and their families and for the communities involved. It was saddening to hear of the considerable abusive behaviour spoken about by the witnesses in this case and the Bishop is willing to meet with those victims and their families, if they so wish, as has been communicated to the police.  

The Diocese is committed to ensuring the safety and protection of every child and vulnerable person in our parishes and it is important to say that there are robust safeguarding policies and procedures in operation throughout the Diocese, and indeed the Catholic Church in England and Wales. Any abuse reported to the Diocese is referred to the police and other relevant authorities. 

In the event of any concerns arising from this case, please contact either the Diocesan Safeguarding Coordinator, Danielle Dixon (01604 723514) or the Clergy Advisor for Safeguarding, Canon Michael Harrison (01536 203121). At present, it would not be appropriate to make any further comment.

Issued by: Neil Roseman

The Northampton Diocesan Communication Office

 Date: 19th February 2019

Tel: 07725234700

E-mail: neil@nymo.org

mgr|Armitage speaking at the lectern, Northampton cathedral7th February - Bishop Peter celebrated Mass to open the Dowry Tour of Our Lady of Walsingham at Northampton Cathedral this evening. He was joined by Mgr John Armitage, pictured, Rector of the Catholic Shrine in Walsingham. Mgr Armitage spoke of the historical and current day significance of the 2020  re-dedication of England to Our Lady of Walsingham. Many more photos on our Facebook page.

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