Around 60 priests from across the Diocese of East Anglia joined Bishop Alan on the Feast of St Etheldreda.
Diocesan priests celebrating jubilees of ordination this year include: Fr Peter Brown and Fr Tony Rogers, both marking 50 years of service, Fr Michael Ryan (40 years) and Fr David Smith, Fr Christopher Smith, Fr John Ashman, Fr David Baker, Fr Michael Rear and Fr Mark Hackeson (all marking 25 years).
Also congratulated were three priests who marked jubilees last year when the Celebration of Priesthood had to be cancelled. They were Fr Dick Healey (40 years) Fr John Barnes and Fr David Paul (25 years).
In his homily, Bishop Alan Hopes said: “I just want to take the opportunity to thank all of you, especially those who are celebrating jubilees or special anniversaries of ordination this year. All of you have transformed the joys and hopes and visions of countless thousands of people that you have served over the years.
“As we look to the future, and hopefully come out of this period of lockdowns, let us remind ourselves that not only is our religion an incarnational and sacramental one, but it is also a religion of hope as well as faith. Let us go from here and place all our faith and all our hope in the Lord whom we serve.”
Pictured above, with Bishop Alan (centre) at Our Lady of the Annunciation in Poringland, are from the left, jubilarian priests Fr Mark Hackeson, Fr Michael Rear, Fr David Paul, Fr Christopher Smith, Fr Peter Brown, Fr John Barnes and Fr Tony Rogers.