Supporting new seminarians is a key pillar of Alive in Faith. We are blessed to have eight men in formation, with two more accepted to begin their studies. This is very welcome news. In the early 2000's, no one in East Anglia was training for the priesthood.
This was a worrying situation that Mark Knight at Our Lady & St. Walstan's in Costessey and his fellow parishioners knew all too well. When their previous priest had to leave, they didn't get an immediate replacement. For almost six years, a priest from the Cathedral parish of St. John the Baptist came every week to celebrate Mass.
When invited to join the volunteer team by Fr. David Ward and help ensure more priests for the future could be trained, Mark jumped on board. "This is really a great chance for us to make a lasting impact, not just for Costessey, but also for the wider Catholic Church. We must make sure that every parish in our Diocese has a full-time priest that can lead the faithful and engage with the community. Alive in Faith is really important to me for precisely this reason."
The campaign at Our Lady & St. Walstan's was a great success. Through the hard work and talents of Fr. David and the volunteer team, the parish achieved 156% of their goal!
(Costessey volunteers Mark Knight on left and Graham Ellwood on the right)