St Peter’s, Leamington Spa, hosted the opening event of the Deanery Visitation by Archbishop Bernard Longley and Bishop William Kenney yesterday (Thurs 26 Sept).

The Archbishop joined clergy and parishioners from all the churches in the Warwick Deanery in Evening Prayer and met many of them afterwards in the Parish Hall.

During the Visitation visits each parish has the opportunity to offer a snapshot of the life of the Christian community in their locality.

Fr John Cross on Warwick Deanery

The Catholic population of Warwick Deanery is about 15,000.

There are 16 churches or places of worship, 10 parish priests, 15 priests in total and one deacon.

Some of our number are active in their retirement, one is a Lithuanian chaplain and one is an assistant priest.

Many of our parish priests look after two churches and those who don’t have more than one hat of responsibility.

There are two parish partnerships in the Deanery. Catholic Leamington was formed in 2016 when St Peter’s was asked to take responsibility for our neighbouring parish of the Church of Our Lady in Lillington.

When Canon Stewart retired St Mary Immaculate in Warwick took responsibility for St Charles Borromeo in Hampton on the Hill.

There are seven NHS Hospitals in the parish and a number of private hospitals. There are a considerable number of nursing homes in the locality. Our Deanery seems to be a favourite place to retire to!

We have one secondary school and numerous primary schools. Most parishes have a school and clergy spend many hours working as Chaplains - celebrating masses, assisting in the preparation of the Sacraments and other duties.

The Deanery Clergy meet together several times a year, normally on the second Tuesday of the month.

We visit each other’s parishes to discuss Deanery matters including how to assist each other at Penitential services and supplying when a priest is on holiday, ill or where a parish is vacant.

We pray together, discuss Diocesan papers and eat together.

Geographically, the Deanery covers a big area.

The age of the clergy is an issue, although recent appointments have helped to bring the average age down.

Looking to the future we can see the need to plan, prioritise and work together.

We are blessed with many active parishioners who help and support the clergy in the mission of the Church and seek to maintain and enlarge the support of the laity.

Photo Gallery by Con McHugh

Opening event in the Warwick Deanery Visitation

Parish Visitations: February 2020 (photos by Con McHugh)

Our Lady's, Lillington

Our Lady's Parish Visitation

St Joseph's, Whitnash
St Joseph's Visitation