Community welcomes Father Phil

ALNWICK’S Catholic community is welcoming a new parish priest after his predecessor headed off to pastures new.

Father Phil Carroll said he is settling in well since he started in the role at St Paul’s last Wednesday following Father Des McGivern’s move to take on the role for Seahouses and Holy Island.

“It’s wonderful but I’m very, very busy and I’m suffering from information overload because so many people are telling me so many different bits of information,” said Fr Carroll.

“But that’s great because it shows I have come to a very vibrant and lively parish.”

Part of his role will involve the two schools, St Paul’s First and Middle, and this is an aspect Fr Carroll is looking forward to.

He was a guest at a charity coffee morning held at the middle school last Friday to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.

“I welcome the fact that the two schools have moved to a joint site and having a part to play in daily life on the governing body,” he said.

Before taking up the post in Alnwick, Fr Carroll had spent five years at the Venerable English College in Rome, a seminary for training English and Welsh priests, where he had been spiritual director.

He said: “I was released by the Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle to go there and it was a marvellous experience to work with the young priests doing their training.”

Prior to that he was the parish priest for the three Catholic parishes in Washington.