Bishop Michael Campbell of Lancaster diocese visited the parish of St John Southworth, in Cleveleys on the Fylde Coast in Lancashire, last week as part of his ongoing visitation of the Thornton deanery.
The bishop, who was appointed coadjutor bishop for the diocese in 2008, succeeded Bishop Patrick O’Donoghue in 2009. Bishop Campbell said: “This parish is made up largely of elderly people who perhaps find the level terrain and sea air characteristic of the Fylde congenial.
“It was lovely to be warmly welcomed at each of the Masses and it was a pleasure to meet and mingle with the parishioners over tea and coffee afterwards.
“I endeavour to reassure the Catholics of relatively small parishes such as St John Southworth of their importance and how they are an integral part of the greater universal Church, in communion with their bishop and with Pope Benedict XVI, the successor of Peter. I do believe that people in our parishes need to hear this.
“These elderly parishioners need to be reminded even more so of just how vital they still are to the life of the parish, despite their frailty and inability to move about much. The patience of Christ so often shines out from them. As is now customary, I accompanied the parish priest to visit a number of housebound now unable to get to church,” the bishop added.
The bishop began his visitation of the Thornton deanery at St Teresa Cleveleys at the end of January.