On 31st May 2020 (Pentecost Sunday) the Parish of St Francis of Assisi amalgamated with Cathedral Parish to form the new Catholic Cathedral Parish.

Bishop Paul Martin put out an official decree explaining that there was a need to combine parishes to provide more effective pastoral care with the decreasing number of available priests.

The boundary of the newly amalgamated Catholic Cathedral Parish is an aggregation of the boundaries of the former parishes.

Father Simon Eccleton acknowledged the rich history of two former parishes, each of which were themselves made up of amalgamations of earlier parishes, and shared his excitement at beginning a new life together.

“We bring the treasures of our people, our stories, our faith, and we begin anew. This is how it has been for God’s people from the beginning of salvation history. We learn to travel light, to let go of what is not important, that we might adapt and give over our hearts and spirits to Christ ever more effectively.”

It’s not always easy, he said, but there is undoubtedly joy in new beginnings.

At the heart of parish life is the call to announce the Good News of the Kingdom of God to the world. Father Simon said the parish should be a place where we are equipped for the mission given to us by Jesus.

“With these skills, we go to out to our families and into our streets, with the power of the Holy Spirit, to invite the world to fall in love with Jesus and his Church.”

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