This year there have been so many times of joy and celebration: Confirmations, First Holy Communions and two Ordinations. The Ordinations were both for Philip Penfold, firstly to the transitional diaconate in July followed by his ordination to the priesthood on Saturday. These were both quite bitter-sweet, full of joy and also celebrated with the awareness that Fr Philip was very ill.

It is therefore with great sorrow that we learned that Fr Philip died this morning, in St Michael’s Hospice in St Leonards on Sea.

In the 18 months since he came to join our group his quiet, gentle manner and his determination to continue his ministry in the face of his illness has had a huge impact, on us as a group and on those who have encountered him. Jenny has asked for people to pray for Fr Philip’s soul and I’m sure all readers of this blog will pray also for her and the rest of Fr Philip’s family.

Eternal rest grant unto Fr Philip, O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him.