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Farewell to Fr. Thomas

Resounding brass, organ, choral singing and a packed church gave Fr Thomas a Mass of Thanksgiving for all to remember.

Fr Thomas, Fr Kieron and newly joined Fr Royston concelebrated the Mass.

Fr KIeron warmly thanked Fr Thomas for his work at all St Richard's churches and presented the image from Loire glass of St Richard, donated by the Parish.

Fr Thomas thanked everyone and welcomed his successor, Fr Royston Pegley, who has come over from St Mary Magdalene, Bexhill on sea, Fr Thomas' next destination.

The musicians were thanked - Barbara Ruffles with the West Chiltington Silver Band, Neil Sands (organ) and the Boxgrove Singers for enhancing the celebration of the Mass.

Then to St Richard's School Hall - and another parishioners' presentation - an Icon of the BVM and Infant, joining the image of St Richard.

Fr Thomas also thanked the hospitality team, again quietly in action, and the providers of two farewell cakes.

Dr Bernadette, who set a church in the icing on her cake, ensured that it went safely to Bexhill!

There were personal farewells and memories of the Corpus Christi Procession - the Flower Festival events week and, not least, the Marian Garden at St Peter's.

Like all parish celebrations, there were social exchanges, tonight talking of future progress.