Dear friends,

It was a little under three years ago that I was first told that I would be coming to minister to you in Eastbourne. I have to confess that at the time I had never even set foot in the town, and only had a vague sense of where it was. But trusting in God, I journeyed here and was immediately met by a very welcoming community.

As I was straight out of seminary, and had not yet gained any significant experience of parish life, I am sure that I have made many mistakes but have been privileged to try and serve Christ and you over this time. My position in Eastbourne was always to be a temporary one, the chance to learn under the guidance of a more experienced Priest before being set loose on my own parish.

The Ordinary has decided that the time has come for me to move on and to care for my own parish; therefore I will be moving to become Group Pastor of the Darlington Ordinariate Mission, and Parish Priest of Barnard Castle & Gainford (in the Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle). I will be in Eastbourne until the end of May, with precise details to be confirmed — I hope that this will provide chance to say good-bye in an appropriate fashion.

Please do keep me in your prayers as I prepare to move on, and to pray for the people of my new pastoral charge — be assured that I will keep you all in my prayers.

I am immensely grateful for the welcome which I have received ever since I first arrived, to Fr. Neil for his guidance, and shall certainly carry a part of Eastbourne with me in my heart as I leave.

Fr. Thomas.