If you are new to the community you are most welcome to join us at any one of our Masses. If you would like to speak to someone about our parish please complete the online form or download the PDF document and return it to me at the address above.
Dear Friends After careful consideration and on the advice of my doctors I have written to Bishop Peter to ask him to allow me to retire from my role as the parish priest of the Sacred Heart parish in Flitwick. He has accepted my decision, which will become effective from the beginning of July.
As Fr. Denis has indicated, he is intending to retire and Bishop Peter has accepted his request. He will continue to live in the presbytery which will become his private residence administered by the diocese.
Bishop Peter’s pastoral planning process ‘Walking Humbly’ has been unfolding over the past few years in recognition of the challenge that there would not be enough priests to support all the parishes in the future. Although as a diocese we are preparing a number of candidates for the priesthood there are not enough to meet the planned and unplanned vacancies across the diocese.
Bishop Peter has reviewed our local Pastoral Area plan and has agreed that Canon Bennie Noonan will become Parish Priest of the 2 parishes of Flitwick and Shefford. He will be supported by Deacon Philip who will remain at Flitwick and Deacon Peter Hyde at Shefford. Each parish will remain a separate parish supported by the existing structures of a Pastoral Parish Council, Finance secretary and Parish secretary. Implementation of the changes is currently planned for September.
With a single priest to serve both parishes, the number of Masses in both parishes will need to be reduced. Bishop Peter is keen to support our serving Priests and asks that they say three Masses at the weekends, to
avoid being overstretched. Fr. Bennie will celebrate Mass in Flitwick on Saturday evening at 6pm & Sunday at 11am, retaining the 9am Mass at Shefford.
To ease the transition to the new arrangements the 09:00 Mass in Flitwick will continue for a short time supported by supply priests until the end of August.
Without a resident Parish Priest, Bishop Peter has asked Deacon Philip to take on the role of Pastoral Administrator in Flitwick in order to ensure there is a local point of contact for the community, in particular for those seeking the sacraments and pastoral care.
We are working through the arrangements for Masses at Easter and Christmas and other key events in the year, and will update you further as this process continues
Sacramental preparation arrangements are under review and changes will be announced well in time for the beginning of this year’s programmes.
The newsletter and website will be key methods to communicate the progress of arrangements and we encourage you to read these regularly.
We wish Fr. Denis well in his retirement and ask for your continued support and prayers as we move through the next phase of planning for our parish.