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Induction mass held for new parish priest

PUBLISHED: 08:00 09 December 2017

Father Kevin Hennessey is Corpus Christi's new parish priest.

Father Kevin Hennessey is Corpus Christi's new parish priest.

Archant

Weston’s Corpus Christi Catholic Church has a new parish priest.

Father Kevin Hennessey moves to the parish, in Ellenbrough Park South, after 26 years at Our Lady’s Catholic Church, in Gloucester.

Originally from Ireland, Kevin is still getting used to his new surroundings.

“Weston is a town that feels very much like a city,” he said.

“Everything is new to me. My role is much different to what I am used to, but I am finding being in Weston is a gift.

“I have got a lot of people to get to know and many have come to introduce themselves and wish me luck, so I’ve been made to feel very welcome.”

Father Kevin’s induction mass was attended by over 250 people, including members from his old parish.

He said: “It was a lovely evening – I felt emotional seeing some of my friends from Our Lady’s make the trip over from Gloucester to wish me well.

“The building is beautiful and overall it was a very nice night.”

Father Kevin is an avid Swindon Town supporter, but his busy schedule keeps him from being able to attend matches at weekends.

He also has a chaplaincy at Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School, also in Ellenborough Park South, and has ministry links with St Beade’s Catholic College, in Bristol.

He visits St Beade’s two or more times a week to run a mass and is also responsible for all chaplaincy activities for the campus’ students, from year seven through to sixth form.

But the 56-year-old relishes his new challenges.

He said: “There is a focus on building for the future of the parish in the area.We are outward-looking and trying to expand beyond the parish boundaries to get more people involved, and we are striving to reach out to more young people, too.

“I view the parish as a place of spirituality and prayer – we are a welcoming community, and it is a lively place.”

In the more immediate future, Father Kevin wants more people to pass through the church.

“Our Sunday mass is very popular, as it has a more family orientated feel,” he said.

“I have found that people are coming from all over the place to enjoy our mass. Visitors have enjoyed the sea air, with the church being so close to the seafront – I think it provides a nice backdrop for worshipping.”

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