The British Province of Carmelites has elected Fr Wilfrid McGreal as their new Prior Provincial. The friars' electoral assembly is taking place (28th-31st January) at Aylesford Priory in Kent, one of the Carmelite Order's most ancient homes dating back to 1242. Through his books, broadcasting, and ecumenical outreach Wilfrid is one of the best known friars in Britain today. He is currently Prior of the Carmelite community at Faversham in Kent; previously he was Prior of nearby Aylesford. Fr Wilfrid, who is 68, will celebrate his Golden Jubilee of religious profession later this year. A native of Manchester he was ordained priest in 1964. He is an Ecumenical Canon of Rochester Cathedral, and a Governor of a City Academy in London. Last year the British Province of Carmelites published Wilfrid's biography of Fr Elias Lynch, Friar Beyond the Pale. In the foreword the current Prior Provincial, Fr Tony Lester, praised Wilfrid as "an imaginative, munificent and energetic man whose starting point in any dealings with another person is their innate goodness and humanity." The election at Aylesford was presided over by Fr Christian Krner, O.Carm., Vice Prior General of the Order. The electoral assembly is the first part of the Carmelites' Provincial Chapter, a meeting of all the brothers which takes place every three years to elect a Prior Provincial and his Council. The second part of the Chapter will take place during Easter Week, and like the electoral assembly will be facilitated by Brother James Boner, Provincial Minister of the Capuchin Franciscans. Fr Wilfrid will take up office at Easter. Fr Tony Lester, warmly welcomed Fr Wilfrid's election saying: "We live in exciting and creative times as a religious family within the Church. I know that Fr Wilfrid will bring the same energy, wisdom and insight to this ministry of service that he has in the past. His experience as gives him a clear perspective on the challenges facing Carmel and an openness to new ventures. The Carmelite Family has survived the centuries because of its ability to read the signs of the times and to collaborate creatively. I am confident that Carmelites in Britain will continue to give room in the heart to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and Fr Wilfrid is well equipped to encourage and lead us, just as we will support him." Carmelite Provincial Office York
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