The Prior of the Norbertine Priory of Our Lady of Sorrows and St Philip Benizi, Chelmsford, has been appointed the Apostolic Administrator of the Prefecture of the Falkland Islands and Ecclesiastical Superior of the Mission sui iuris of the islands of St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha for the next five years.
Fr Hugh Allan will replace Mgr Michael McPartland, who has headed both the Prefecture and Mission since August 2002, who has reached the age of retirement and is in ill health.
Fr Allan has also been given the title of Titular Abbot of Beeleigh. Beeleigh Abbey, founded near Harlow, Essex in 1172, moved to Beeleigh in 1180. The abbey was suppressed during the dissolution of the monasteries, and is now a private home owned by Christopher Foyle of Foyles Bookshop.
The new Abbot Allan will support Fr John Wisdom o.praem, the priest who has ministered to the 230 Catholics on the Falkland Islands since August 2015, and who is a member of the Norbertine community in Essex. He will continue as Prior of the Chelmsford community and parish priest of the parishes of Our Lady Immaculate and The Holy Name, Chelmsford.
Abbot Allan will visit Ascension Island and then the Falkland Islands in November, and plans to visit Tristan da Cunha and St Helena in the New Year.