This week we welcome Fr John Mark Agulefo, who takes up his ministry at St Clare's.
Fr John Mark (pictured on the left) will lead our parish, and will be joined in September by Fr Stephen Talbutt, who is currently assistant priest at Christ the King and St Kentigern's, Blackpool. Over the summer supply priests will help to cover Masses before the new team is fully in place. The message below gives some more information:
Dear members of St Clare's parish,
Following Bishop Paul Swarbrick's letter of appointment dated 1st July 2022, Fr John Mark Agulefo has been appointed the Priest in Charge of St Clare's parish as from Monday 18th July 2022.
Fr John Mark would like to immensely thank Fr Allman for all the wonderful works he has done in this parish all these years. He has indeed been a blessing to this parish and the community. Thank you so much, Fr Allman. May the good Lord reward you for your good works and accompany you as you embrace your new assignment!
Fr John Mark Ifezim Agulefo (Fr JM for short) is a Nigerian born and brought up in his little town of Adazi Nnukwu, Anambra State of Nigeria. He was ordained a Catholic priest for the Diocese of Awka on 20th August 1994. He served as an assistant parish priest in different parishes before he was made a parish priest in 1997. As a parish priest he worked in four different parishes within the diocese.
In September of 2015, his Bishop requested him to go on mission work to the Diocese of Lancaster in the United Kingdom, which he happily agreed to. His first assignment was at St Mary's Cleator and St Joseph's Frizington, as the assistant parish priest to Fr Paul Johnstone. He was appointed the Priest in Charge of Saint Gregory the Great, Preston in 2019.
Fr JM comes from a big family of six (all male). His five brothers are living in different parts of Nigeria with their lovely families. He has about 26 nieces and nephews. His parents are late. Fr JM is happy being a priest and he is happy coming to Saint Clare's parish. He looks forward to meeting and working with the good people of the parish.
Fr Stephen will be able to introduce himself more when he arrives in early September. He has local roots, having been a parishioner of Lancaster Cathedral before entering seminary at Oscott; he was ordained a priest of our diocese on 6th July 2019.
Please keep your new priests and the whole parish community in your prayers in this time of transition. May God bless us all, now and always.