Bishop Philip Egan establishes a new FSSP personal parish on 8 September 2018, the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Bishop Philip Egan, the Bishop of Portsmouth, established a new Personal Parish in Reading, Berkshire, under the patronage of St John Fisher, for those attached to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, often known as the Traditional Latin Mass. The Parish will be served by priests of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter (FSSP), a clerical Society of Apostolic Life founded by Pope St John Paul II in 1988, which has ministered to the Latin Mass Community in Reading for the past seventeen years. The new Parish will be located at St William of York Church, Reading, until such time as a permanent home can be found for it.
Commenting on this decision, Bishop Philip Egan stated, “I am keen that in the Diocese of Portsmouth everyone has the opportunity to experience and participate in the full range of the Roman Liturgy to nourish their spiritual life and discipleship”.
He continued, “I am very grateful to the FSSP for their presence, prayer and ministry in Reading. By establishing them as a Personal Parish, I hope and pray that the Lord will give their mission new energy and vitality in bringing many more people closer to Jesus Christ through His Church”.
The FSSP’s Superior General, Fr Andrzej Komorowski, stated: “The establishment of this Parish represents an important step, firstly for our priests and parishioners in Reading, but also for the FSSP’s apostolic endeavours elsewhere. This is the first such parish in the UK and only the FSSP’s fourth in Europe after Rome, Amsterdam and Thalwil, Switzerland. I am very grateful to Bishop Egan and the diocesan staff involved in the creation of the Parish, to our priests who have ministered in Reading over the years and of course to the faithful for their spiritual and financial support”.
The Parish’s first Parish Priest, Fr Matthew Goddard, said: “The establishment of this Parish affirms the legitimacy, vitality and stability of our Church community. It places us in a stronger position to serve the faithful of the Diocese, together with other parishes of the area and their priests, with whom we have collaborated over the years. Furthermore, it demonstrates the Diocese of Portsmouth’s pastoral care for those who wish to attend Mass according to the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal”.