Manchester: ‘Francis Effect’ leads priest to give up big house

(ICN) A young parish priest in Manchester has decided to try to follow the example of Pope Francis and move into a small flat,  handing over his roomy presbytery for use by the parish community. Fr Anddrew Stringfellow from the Sacred Heart and St Francis parish in Gorton writes: “It doesn’t feel right that the priest should live in the biggest house in the parish so we have to look at how we can use this great asset better.”

His full letter to the parish follows:

PLANS FOR THE PRESBYTERY IN THE SPIRIT OF POPE FRANCIS

The priest’s house was built in 1907 for three priests and to housekeepers. Over the last 30 years priests living alone have tried to use the size of the house to good effect with visiting priests, lodgers etc. The time has now come to radically change the house so it can be used in a way that benefits the whole parish and provides private living space for the parish priest and any visiting priests or students. It doesn’t feel right that the priest should live in the biggest house in the parish so we have to look at how we can use this great asset better.

The plan is to make the whole of downstairs public space with a seminar/conference room, a meeting room and a communal kitchen and dining room. These rooms will be available to parish groups and to the schools. Upstairs one of the large guest rooms will be changed into a living room and kitchen for the priest and a new wall will be put in so that upstairs will be effectively a small private apartment and there will be a couple of guest rooms on the other side. [more]

SOURCE

ICN