On Tuesday February 15th, Fr Eric Kemball, Parish Priest at St Giles Catholic Church in Cheadle, marked 25 years since his Ordination to the Sacred Priesthood. 

Fr Eric was ordained in 1997 at St Chad’s Cathedral in Birmingham and was immediately posted to the Chaplaincy at the University Hospital in Stoke, where he served for 19 years before taking the position of Parish Priest in Cheadle (also serving St Thomas of Canterbury Church in Tean) in 2016. 

At the start of the pandemic in March 2020, the two churches were forced to close for four months before re-opening initially for private prayer, and then later in the year for the celebration of Mass, subject to the usual COVID precautions and additional cleaning. 

For the first time in almost two years the two parishes and parish schools were able to come together on Tuesday for the celebration of Mass, which was presided over by Fr Eric himself, assisted by Fr Paul McNally (Dean of the Area) and Fr Marco Egawhary.  

During his Homily Fr Eric reflected on three key aspects of his ministry; the regular celebration of Holy Mass, the responsibility of pastoral care for his congregation and the importance of authentic preaching. 

At the end of Mass parishioners showed their appreciation by presenting gifts to Fr Eric and his wife Lucy.