Fr Alan was ordained in the Cathedral in July 2019. He has served in the parishes of St Mary, Ipswich, and Our Lady and the English Martyrs, Cambridge. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Fr Alan is a former aircraft fitter and Operations Manager at Gatwick Airport.
As part of the ceremony, which took place on Sunday September 18, Fr Alan confirmed his belief in Scripture, the Creed and the deposit of faith transmitted through the tradition of the Church. He then signed an oath of fidelity on the altar and received from Bishop Alan the keys of the Cathedral and a book of the Gospels.
In his homily, Bishop Alan said that the installation of a new priest was a time for reaching out to those who no longer practise the faith, those who are seeking faith, and those who have no faith. He then laid out four essential foundations for a renewed parish vision.
First, the priest was called to be a man of prayer, and prayer must also be at the heart of the parish community. Bishop Alan hoped that it might be possible to build up a weekly day of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament at the Cathedral.
Second, the priest is called to be a man of the Eucharist; Bishop Alan asked the congregation to renew faithfulness in coming to Mass on Sunday and to consider coming to Mass during the week.
Third, the priest is a man of reconciliation. “I know that Fr Alan and Fr Michael will continue to be generously available for this sacramental ministry,” said the Bishop, “and I encourage the People of God to seek God’s forgiveness regularly.”
Lastly, the priest must be a man of study. “All of us should be growing in our faith by regularly reflecting on the Scriptures,” said Bishop Alan.
“We are saints in the making,” he concluded, “we are called to grow in holiness…this must be at the heart of our lives as Christians.”
Pictured above is Fr Alan Hodgson signing the Oath of Fidelity at St John’s Cathedral. You can view a Flickr gallery of the induction Mass by clicking on the link or the picture below.