A week earlier he had been in the Holy Land on pilgrimage but last Thursday October 25, Father Philip Kitchen returned to his first parish, Our Lady & St Cuthbert’s Church in Maybole, for a special presentation when parishioners gathered to thank him for his two years with them.
After Mass, celebrated with Canon McGee who is the current parish priest, there was a buffet and tributes paid to Fr Philip by Ellen Hawkes, chair of the Parish Pastoral Council, and Meadhbh Murphy, representing the young people of the parish.
David Kiltie had prepared a slide show of photos taken over the two years, bringing back many memories.
Canon McGee said that priests nowadays change parishes more frequently than in the past and need the support and companionship of parishioners. “Fr Philip certainly appreciated your support, especially your prayers,” he added before Mrs Hawkes presented Fr Philip with a cheque from the parish.
Father Philip said, “This is a hope-filled community and I have never been part of such a community, church and town.
“Absolutely wonderful things happened here with the closeness of the churches and people. Things are done really well, without fuss.”