Jesuits to leave Dorset parish to make way for diocesan priest after 125 years of service

The Jesuits in Britain have confirmed that after over 125 years of service in the parish of Corpus Christi, Boscombe, they will be making way for a parish priest from the Diocese of Portsmouth.

In August the current pastor, Father Adrian Howell SJ, will have completed his six-year term and reached the age of 75. He has been a hardworking and faithful servant to the community of Corpus Christi, and in spite of many obstacles, has ministered tirelessly to the parishioners throughout the years of the recent pandemic. The Diocese of Portsmouth will announce the name of the new parish priest later this year.

In a statement, the Bishop of Portsmouth, Philip Egan, thanked Fr Howell for his service, saying:

“There is no doubt that we owe a great debt of gratitude to Fr Adrian and our Jesuit brothers, who have shepherded the parish of Corpus Christi, Boscombe, so well for so long. It is with sadness that we receive the news that they will no longer be able to minister to the parish. The Jesuits came to Bournemouth in 1897 and have worked across several parishes over that time fostering the Catholic community. Building on their rich heritage, they brought missionary zeal and developed a vibrant parish in Boscombe. We will reap the fruits of their pastoral ministry for many years to come. I have appointed a new parish priest who will take up their post from the 8th September 2022 as part of the diocesan clergy moves. The current pastor, Jesuit Fr. Adrian, will help to facilitate the transition. I ask you to pray for Fr Adrian and our Jesuit brothers in their future mission. I ask for your patience over the coming months and will be in touch soon with more information.”

A Jesuit community, which includes a care facility, will remain in Boscombe, and its Superior, Father Hugh Duffy SJ, looks forward to supporting the new parish priest.

The Jesuits would like to thank the community of Boscombe for the welcome and support which generations of parishioners have shown to them, and will continue to pray for the parish of Corpus Christi.

More information about Corpus Christi parish can be found here.