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Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Retired bishop enjoys return to parish work
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¬†Three months after stepping down as Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle, Bishop Ambrose Griffiths OSB is enjoying 'retirement' in Lancashire. He applauded the Archbishop of York, Dr David Hope, who has announced his retirement from next February - and his new appointment as parish priest of Ilkley, West Yorkshire. "I would recommend to anyone to step down from a position of responsibility, but not to retire, Instead they could use their skills while they had the strength," he told a reporter. Now an assistant priest of the Benedictine parish of St Mary's, Leyland, near Preston, the Bishop Emeritus said he was sure the Archbishop would find his new role "enjoyable and fruitful." He said he was pleased to have in his new daily life "no pressure" - but admitted he had not yet had time to settle down for life to have a consistent pattern. Father Ambrose had started to renew acquaintances with people he knew in Leyland while parish priest of St Mary's for several years before becoming Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle in 1992. "I am an additional assistant priest, not tied down. I'm available to do what is necessary and expect to be settled here from mid-September." Before then he is to have a holiday and take the place of Fr Charles Macauley OSB at St John the Evangelist, Easingwold, North Yorkshire, 'supplying' for him. "My aim at Leyland is to visit people and to build up cells of prayer, community and evangelism. "People will have studied the CAfť (Catholic Evangelisation Service) video at the parish house. I want to encourage and to train lay people to visit people in pairs to win back what I call `resting, Catholics and people of no religion. "This is following Christ's method of sending disciples out in pairs." The Bishop, said Leyland had several thousand Catholics living in what is now a dormitory town. It had the "best motorway system in the country" with good access to Preston, Liverpool and the national motorway network, including the M6. He said the only large manufacturer remaining was Leyland's lorry assembly plant. Major employers were two large prisons - where he has celebrated Mass." Before he was succeeded by Bishop Kevin Dunn on May 25, Bishop Ambrose said he hoped to have ten years of active ministry left in him. A former abbot of Ampleforth, he keeps fit by walking in the countryside.
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