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The Parish bade a fond farewell to Canon Kieron O'Brien at his last Mass on Saturday 29th September before he moves to take up his new role as Parish Priest at St. Joseph's in Brighton. St. Richard's church was full to overflowing as parishioners from the three communities in Chichester, Bosham and the Witterings came together to say goodbye. The Mass was concelebrated by Canon Kieron, Fr. Paul Turner, Fr Ron Robinson and Fr. Andrew Moss (who has joined the Parish as Assistant priest) and the music was led by a choir drawn together from the whole area. Before Canon Kieron gave his last blessing children sang 'His Banner Over me is Love' with appropriate actions, a song he had taught to many children at St. Richard's School during his 12 years as Parish Priest.
After Mass there was a party in the school hall with speeches and the giving of presents to mark the occasion. Among those speaking was Peter Bunker from Churches Together in Chichester who acknowledged the significant role that Canon Kieron had played in promoting ecumenism in Chichester. An amusing and heartfelt valediction was given by Mike Beal about Canon Kieron's time in Chichester and for those who missed it the speech is reproduced here. The presents included a framed photograph of one of the stained glass windows from St. Richard's Church and a book of comments and reminiscenses from parishioners which should give Canon Kieron some light reading for some time to come.Canon Kieron has served the Parish faithfully over the last 12 years during which time there have been many changes to cope with, all of which he has handled with his usual tact, diplomacy and sensitivity. He will be greatly missed but Chichester's loss will be Brighton's gain and we wish him well for his new ministry. He leaves the Parish in good hands with Fr. Paul Turner taking over as Parish Priest and Fr. Andrew Moss joining as Assistant Priest.