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Fr Henry appointed chaplain for Latin Mass

At the invitation of Bishop Alan Hopes, Fr Henry Whisenant has taken up the role as chaplain for the celebration of the Mass and sacraments in the Extraordinary Form (Latin Mass) in the privately owned Chapel of Our Lady Immaculate and St Edmund, Withermarsh Green, near Ipswich.

This is believed to be the first time an English diocesan priest has been given such a role. 

The Apostolate was launched with a Missa Cantata on August 15 – the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Thereafter, Mass will be celebrated on Sundays at 10am.

Fr Whisenant said: “I am delighted with the appointment and hope that in time many may benefit from this gracious provision that His Lordship has made. It was lovely to see 80 people for the opening Mass outside and 60 for the following two Sundays.

“To find the church, type in the postcode for The Presbytery, Withermarsh Green (CO6 4TA), be prepared for some tiny, winding roads, and look out for the Vatican flag peeking over the hedge!” he advised.

Bishop Alan said: “There is a sizeable group of people in the Diocese who continue to be attached to the earlier liturgical forms of the celebration of Mass and the Sacraments. I have therefore asked Fr Henry to take on the pastoral care of this group. The appointment will be for three years initially after which there will be a review of how things are working out.

“I am most grateful to the Fenwick family who own the church and house at Withermarsh Green for their generosity in allowing us to use the church for this purpose and for the priest to live in the house next door from the start of 2021. It is my wish that those churches where the Extraordinary form of Mass is already celebrated should continue their provision for the time being.”

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Picture top is Fr Henry Whisenant celebrating the first Latin Mass outside at Withermarsh Green and, below, the chapel .