In a copy of the Record in 2005, Fr David Sherwood wrote the following:
Goodbye This the last letter that I shall write to you as your parish priest. I am looking forward to retirement as it will remove a considerable amount of pressure from me. At the same time I shall be sad to leave you. My ambition remains to leave the parish under my own steam, my three predecessors all having left in a box! We shall be worshipping at Christchurch St. Leonards on Sea.
I am sure that my successor will review the question of continuing with the weekday masses which are not well supported. May I take this opportunity to thank those faithful souls who do come week by week. As I have said before a daily mass is one of the signs of a Catholic parish. Make sure that you play your part in keeping that tradition here at St Mary’s. At present our finances are secure. Sadly, that is the key to preservation of independence. But that may not always be the case. Then we would be under threat. The biggest regular expense is manpower. Two years before I arrived there were three full-time clergy in this parish; now it’s only me. We are very lucky that Fr John gives so unstintingly of his time.
If we look a few years after I have retired will we be able to justify being able to have a full-time priest? It’s up to you to keep the numbers up.
At the end of February 2006, a Parish Profile was completed and advertising for applicants to fill the post of Parish Priest of St Mary-the-Virgin, Kenton began. The advertisement for the post of Vicar stressed the desire of the PCC for Saint Mary’s to be a Centre of Excellence in all that we do. Fr John Metivier and Fr Michael Bedford continued the important work of running the worship and pastoral work of the parish during the interregnum for the greater glory of God and for the extension of his kingdom here in Kenton.
Interviews were held on May 24th and at the end of the daythr Churchwardens were unanimous in there choice of Fr Giles Pinnock to be the new vicar. He was the first Vicar of St Mary’s to be appointed with a young family (married to Mary, with three young children). He came to St Mary’s from Stony Stratford, near Milton Keynes, where he completed his curacy.
The induction of Fr Giles as 6th Vicar of Kenton took place on Saturday 9th September 2006. In true St Mary’s style the service was a great cause for celebration with an appropriately grand party to follow.
On Easter Sunday, 2008, 6 children received First Holy Communion. First Holy Communion, often associated with the life and practice of the Catholic Church, has now been received into the life of the Church of England.
A Walsingham pilgrimage was arranged for October 2009, to coincide with the visit of the Relics of St Therese of Lisieux. The Relics were welcomed at the Anglican Shrine by Bishop Lindsay Urwin. From the Anglican Shrine, the Relics were taken to the Catholic Shrine where they were venerated. Mass was said at the Catholic Shrine on the following day, before the Relics proceeded on their journey to Oxford.