Comedian turned priest Father Frankie Mulgrew is leaving the parish to take on a new challenge.
Son of Irish comic Jimmy Cricket, Fr Frankie, who is the assistant parish priest at St Michael and St John’s RC Church, Clitheroe, and St Mary’s RC Church, Sabden, will celebrate his last Masses in the parish this weekend before taking up his new post.
Fr Frankie who hit the headlines for writing his book “Does God LOL?”, started an online petition while he was at Clitheroe asking the Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond MP to grant safe asylum to Iraqi Christians.
He was due to be in Clitheroe and Sabden for three years, but just short of two years in he has been called to other duties as a chaplain at the Royal Blackburn Hospital for two days a week while also working at a parish in Longshaw, Manchester. He will be succeeded by Fr Joe Gee, who hails from Manchester, and will work alongside Mgr John Corcoran.
Fr Frankie, who was appointed at St Michael and St John’s RC Church for three years with a view to him then completing his “apprenticeship” with a two year appointment in a city parish, said: “I couldn’t have asked for a better, more welcoming community for my first couple of years as a priest. I have loved my time in serving the catholic parish and schools of Clitheroe and Sabden and the wider community, it has been a blast – journeying and accompanying people in their faith, and I will be gutted to leave. I’m sorry to go, but the nature of my vocation calls me to other places, other responsibilities and to meet and serve other needs. I’m grateful for all the help, guidance and leadership of Mgr John Corcoran. And for the support and fellowship of my fellow Christian Leaders. The community here will always hold a special place in my heart.”
Mgr Corcoran said: “That three year term has proved to be a little less than two, but during this comparatively short time he has used his many talents to the benefit of both the parish and our primary and secondary schools. Christmas homilies will never be the same again!”
Fr Joe Gee will take up his appointment at the beginning of May.