The 2-bed flat in Peterborough is just 10 minutes’ walk from the parish church of St Peter and All Souls, where Fr Tony now sometimes says Mass at the weekends. Fr Tony has two sisters in Peterborough, and a brother priest in Huntingdon, Monsignor Philip Shryane.
Fr Tony was ordained in Peterborough, and was for 12 years Vocations Director for the Diocese, under Bishop Alan Clark. “When the Diocese split from Northampton in 1976,” he said, “all the students from the old Diocese were based on the East Anglian side. So we started off with a bumper bundle of 10 or 11 students.”
Fr Tony served in Thetford and Norwich and as parish priest for Our Lady of the Annunciation in King’s Lynn before being appointed Parish Priest for Ely, where he was based for 21 years.
When Bishop Michael Evans decided to link the Diocese with Cambodia, Fr Tony was one of the group of 25 which went to visit their new colleagues At Siem Reap. Ely needed a parish with which to twin, and Bishop Michael announced cryptically that “I have just the thing for you.” It turned out to be a floating village.
Fr Tony has since been back six times, and Ely has supported Cambodian projects, which include a hospital, schools and a rice bank. He will be returning again next January with a parish group.
Bishop Michael also asked Fr Tony to look after retired priests. He is still active in making the rounds to visit them, and this seems to be one role he is unlikely to lay down for a while.
Bishop Alan Hopes commented, “I am very grateful for the generosity of so many parishioners to the Alive in Faith appeal which is allowing the Diocese to make this kind of provision for its retired priests.”
The pictures show Fr Tony in the lounge of his flat (top) and in his bedroom (middle) looking at a photograph of himself with Saint Pope John Paul II