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  • Writer's pictureSt. Thomas à Becket Catholic Church Wandsworth

THE CLERGY SUPPORT FUND: being there for our Sick and Retired Priests

Updated: Feb 22, 2022

On Sunday 27th February 2022 the Archdiocese of Southwark will hold a Second Collection for the welfare of our sick and retired clergy, and would like to ask for your generous support.


They’ve been there for us. Let us be there for them.


The Clergy Support Fund provides care and support for priests in their retirement and old age, and at their time of ill health, after their lifetime of service and devotion to Christ, His Church and His People. This Sunday, the Diocese will hold a second collection for this important fund.

In 2021, the Clergy Support Fund provided care to 71 retired priests, at a cost of £1.25 million. With the number of priests over the age of 65 steadily increasing, so too will the cost of providing care to our retired clergy. Whilst priests can retire from active parish ministry when they reach the age of 75, many continue to serve their communities, working in our parishes, schools, hospitals and chaplaincies. We thank them for their service and dedication.

You can donate to this appeal via:

Your donations to this worthy fund ensure a dignified retirement for all of our priests.

Thank you for your generosity of heart.

‘Do not reject me in my old age,

nor desert me when my strength is failing’

Psalm 71:9

A Story from one of our retired priests

Canon Colm Acton was ordained in 1958 and is currently 88 years old. He retired from active parish ministry just 5 ½ years ago. currently aged 88 years old.

After training for the Priesthood in St Patrick’s College Co. Carlow, Ireland, I came to London and reported to Archbishop Cyril Cowderoy to serve in the Archdiocese of Southwark. I have served in several parishes across the Archdiocese, including St Augustine’s Tunbridge Wells, St George’s Cathedral, St Justus Paddock Wood and St Anselm’s Pembury, St James the Great in Peckham Rye, and finally I put my roots down in St John Fisher, Merton, in South West London, where I was Parish Priest for nearly 35 years until my retirement in 2016.

I retired to a property provided by the diocese not far from my old parish, so I still feel part of that community. Since retirement I have done a bit of travelling. I went to Rome in 2018 for the 60th anniversary of my ordination and had the great pleasure of meeting the Holy Father Pope Francis, a most memorable event. I went to California to visit my brother Sean, a priest in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, to celebrate his 95th birthday. He passed away in July of this year. I was also able to make several visits to Tuam in County Galway, where I was born and still have family connections, spending some quality time there before the COVID-19 pandemic.

For some time my health has been poor and I am receiving treatment for cancer. This curtails lots of activities and involves many visits to the hospital. But I thank God I am still alive and have an enjoyable life.

Thanks to all those who contribute to the Sick and Retired Clergy Fund. Your generosity makes the life of a retired priest feel secure.

If you would like to support the retirement and care of priests like Canon Colm,

please consider giving a gift today to the

Thank you!

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