Following quickly on the announcement last week, of a new Oratorian community being set up in Cardiff, we can happily report that there is to be an Oratory in formation at Bournemouth in Dorset. The Bishop of Portsmouth has kindly and enthusiastically inaugurated this initiative, and has invited our Fr Dominic, together with two priests of the Archdiocese of Southwark, Fr Peter Edwards and Fr David Hutton, to take over the running of the Parish of the Sacred Heart in the city centre - only a couple of hundred yards from the sea.
The Church is a fine late Victorian building and is the mother church of the city. The Society of Jesus established the parish but withdrew in 1969, since when, the parish has been served by priests of the Portsmouth Diocese. The bishop has described the parish as 'a community of communities', there being significant numbers of Polish, Filippino and Brazilian parishioners. There are many language schools and hotels in the parish and much student accommodation. The number of homeless people living in the city is growing, and the bishop has asked the Fathers to focus attention on ministering to those in need.
Fr Dominic, who will be responsible for the formation of new members and the setting up of community life there, has also been nominated chaplain to the University of Bournemouth.
Please do keep this venture in your prayers. It is wonderful that St Philip will become known in a new place, to a new parish community.