The event took place in the historic and beautiful grounds of the priory in Suffolk. This was the first social occasion the parish had held since February 2020.
The whole congregation came together in an outdoor Mass and celebration for Fr David Middleton OSA and Fr Bernard Rolls OSA to celebrate their 50 years as Augustinian priests.
Fr David has been associated with Clare since the 1960s when he was a novice at Clare Priory. He is highly regarded and well known throughout the area.
Fr David’s roles have included head of French, headmaster, Provincial (in charge of all Augustinian houses in England and Scotland) and Parish Priest at Clare, his current role.
Fr Bernard has been geography teacher, school trustee, Parish Priest at Clare, and is now Priest at St Mary’s Harborne.
Fr Bernard was Parish Priest at Clare Priory at the start of the church extension project and led the project through to the completion of the beautiful church building which is now enjoyed by so many worshippers today. Fr David was head of the Augustinian Order in Britain during the construction of the church.
Fr David and Fr Bernard were both ordained as Augustinian Priests in 1971. The day gave the opportunity for parishioners to show how much they have valued the long service of both priests.
The Mass was followed by a picnic in the grounds enjoyed by all.
Parishioner Steven Cubitt said: “It was a special day and fitting celebration for all they have given and still give in their current roles.”
Pictured top, parishioners gather in the beautiful historic grounds at Clare Priory. Pictured below, Fathers David Middleton OSA, Bernard Rolls OSA, Ian Wilson OSA, Stefan Park OSA (Prior), Robert Marsh Provincial and George Donaghy OSA. Pictures by Steven Cubitt.