Autumn Occasions 06:
'The Sound of the Sixties'
Celebrating with Fr Charles

Charles Alfred Billington was Vicar of St Faith's between 1966 and 1972. His time with us was a period of great change and innovation, and in many ways it laid the foundations on which the three men who succeeded him have built, taking us into the St Faith's of the 21st century.

Since leaving us for other parishes, jobs and challenges, Fr Charles (he was the first incumbent to be referred to by his Christian rather than his surname) has kept in touch over the years, and returned to our pulpit and altars more than once. In September 2006, he celebrated fifty years of priesthood, and was very happy to accept Fr Neil's invitation to mark this most special of occasions by presiding over High Mass of Thanksgiving on the evening of Friday, September 22nd.

At this splendid occasion, attended by many of Charles' friends and colleagues over the last half century, the sermon was preached by Fr Dennis Smith, a long-standing friend and colleague. He spoke memorably and entertainingly of a memorable and entertaining man. After the service, the traditional Good Time was Had by All in the Church Hall. A cake was cut, many old friendships renewed and just a little food and drink was taken...

Denis Griffith's photographs capture some of the colourful moments of this marvellous evening. Charles was joined at the Nave Altar by Fr Dennis, seen later reading the Gospel, and by ordinand Martin Jones. As well as some of the usual suspects at the party,  you can see Charles's wife Heather at the bar, and Audrey Dawson with the cake she made for this festive occasion.

Click here for the text of Fr Dennis's sermon in tribute to his mentor.

Click here for Fr Charles' clergy profile on our Clergy page.

Click here for the Men's Group pages (Charles has for some years been  unofficial chaplain to this august organisation's Annual 'Retreat'). See pcitures of Fr Charles with the group and celebrating the House Eucharist, then follow the link to the Communion Set

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