Father Michael Morrissey retires after 22 years serving Windsor

Father Michael Morrissey retires after 22 years serving Windsor

Francis Batt

Father Michael Morrissey retires after 22 years serving Windsor

The man who has led Windsor's Roman Catholic community for 22 years is retiring this week.

But although Father Michael Morrissey, 73, is staying in the town he loves his successor at St Edward's Church need have no fear.

Father Michael said: "I'll keep firmly out of his way. People who want to see me can see me in the supermarket."

He is looking forward to indulging his love of golf.

Father Michael grew up in County Limerick, Ireland and served in the RAF for four years. After his ordination he spent 16 years as a Catholic chaplain for all three services, spending two years at sea and two in Gibraltar.

He became Windsor's parish priest in 1991 and has been actively involved with St Edward's First and Middle Schools as governor and chaplain.

His weekly welcome to parishioners and visitors at the church's entrance in Alma Road has become a familiar part of life in the town.

He has strong views about some of the changes he has seen in the town, saying: "The biggest change has been all the redevelopment, the office blocks of the last 15 years often left standing empty.

"If I had my way they would be requisitioned and turned into affordable housing."

But he has been encouraged by the way Windsor's Catholic congregation has remained strong over the years.

He said: "Young people feel comfortable bringing their baby into church which is the best way to start a lifelong habit.

"The relationship between churchgoers and their priest is more relaxed nowadays, less formal."

Father Michael takes his last Mass on Sunday at St Edward's at 11am before a goodbye celebration is held at Brigidine School. His place will be taken by Canon David Hopgood, formerly the adminstrator at Portsmouth Cathedral.

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