Did you know ... ?


If you visit the centre of Newport Pagnell fairly early on Sunday morning, let's say between 8.30am and 9.00am, you will find a number of people heading for St. Bede's, the Catholic Church in the town. The red brick building is situated at the lower end of the High Street opposite the newsagent. It is not immediately recognisable as a church, because it was built long before the Diocese of Northampton bought it in 1953 and was used for different purposes up to then.

You may on your walk also see a priest arriving to celebrate Mass at 9.00am. In fact, it is often a different priest every Sunday, because St. Bede's is part of a cluster of churches that is served by four priests. Our parish priest, who is in charge of the cluster, is Father Francis Higgins. He actually grew up in Milton Keynes, as his family came to Milton Keynes, because his father helped to build the shopping centre and then other buildings in MK. Since becoming a priest he has spent most of his time in parishes in Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire.

We also have three assistant priests, two of them are from overseas. Father Lijo Payikkattu comes from Southern India. He is a member of a religious order and has now been in England or about three years. Father Pius Amoako is from Ghana, though he trained for the priesthood in a seminary in England and has been here since the early 2000s. And the third of the assistant priests, Father Brendan Seery, as a Luton man is comparatively local, while his parents come from Dublin.

Needless to say that the people who head for Mass on  in Newport Pagnell are very grateful to God for sending us such lovely priests, each with their distinct personalities and special gifts.

Klaus Reidel
Deacon, St. Bede's Catholic Church