Dear Sisters and Brothers

Firstly, I must once again express deep gratitude to all those of you who have written to me during these past months. The very large volume of letters and cards would make it difficult to reply individually, so please accept this general ‘thank you’ for all the great kindness and generosity shown to me.

I am glad to be able to tell you that my general health continues to improve, which now makes it possible to fix a date for returning to the diocese to celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving. It is to be on Friday, 14 December, at 7 pm in St Mary’s Cathedral. How pleased I would be if a number of yourselves were able to be present on that occasion. Sisters Kitty and Sheila, along with members of my own family, will also join us at the Mass. Both of them have asked me to convey their own best wishes and appreciation to all who have written to them via their own new Communities in London.

Since I was last in contact through the Voice in August, the diocese has mourned the death of my predecessor, Bishop Augustine Harris. Bishop Gus gave to the Church, and to this diocese in particular, distinguished service during his long priestly and episcopal ministry. How fitting that he should have been laid to rest in the very Cathedral he had been responsible for building. What an enduring legacy to him that fine Cathedral is, a place where the liturgy can be celebrated in a truly dignified and wonderfully inclusive manner.

Finally, let me say how much I unite my prayers with yours for the one who will be called to lead the diocese as bishop during these coming years. Meanwhile, until 14 December when we will gather together in St Mary’s Cathedral for that Thanksgiving Mass, may God continue to bless each one of us on our pilgrim way.