22 July 2015, The Tablet

Priest leaves traditionalist parish due to 'toll on health'

The priest who took over a parish that had become a centre for the old rite has announced he is resigning from ministry after less than a year in post.

Fr Steven Fisher succeeded Fr Tim Finigan as the parish priest of Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen, in Kent, in September last year.

Blackfen Catholic churchUnder Fr Finigan, the parish’s main Mass was celebrated according to the 1962 Missal and had become popular with those attracted to the traditional liturgy.

Fr Steven Fisher arrived at the parish as a priest who had celebrated the Old Rite in the past, however it is understood that after arriving at Blackfen he made some liturgical changes which some people opposed.

“I think we could all agree that the transfer from my predecessor to me was not as smooth as any of us could have wanted,” Fr Fisher said in an announcement to the parish earlier this month.

“This is not the place to go into the reasons for that. All I will say, at the moment, is that the personal cost to my physical and mental health was high.”

Fr Fisher will now take up a post teaching Maths at St John's Comprehensive School in Gravesend, Kent. Fr Oliver Antao will take over as Parish Priest from 1 September.

In a statement the Archdiocese of Southwark said that Fr Fisher has asked for a period of time away from active ministry.

In his own announcement Fr Fisher said: “Remember me as I begin to learn how to live in the ‘real’ world, dealing with such things as paying rent, bills and so on.”

Fr Finigan is currently the parish priest of St Austin and St Gregory, Margate with St Anne, Cliftonville.

Above: Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen

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