Sunday 21st January 2024

It is announced today that Fr Kevin Smith SSC, Priest Administrator of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, has been appointed as Vicar of St Augustine’s, Belvedere in the Diocese of Rochester.

Fr Kevin has served as Priest Administrator since 2016. Reflecting on his time in Walsingham, Fr Kevin said: “It has been a huge privilege to serve the Shrine in this unique role and to have the opportunity to meet so many pilgrims who love this holy place so deeply. There has been no shortage of challenges along the way, but I pay tribute to the wonderful staff team who have supported me, and I am confident that the Shrine’s ministry and witness will go from strength to strength in the coming years”.

Bishop Philip North, Master of the College of Guardians said: “Fr Kevin has brought a pastor’s heart, a deep faithfulness and a beautiful understanding of the power of pilgrimage to his work as Priest Administrator. He has steered the Shrine through the profound challenges of the pandemic and has brought fresh vision and direction as we have built back afterwards. Fr Kevin has been an outstanding Priest Administrator, and he will return to Parish ministry with the prayers, the love and the gratitude of the College of Guardians.”

The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham Usher said: “Father Kevin has given faithful service as Priest Administrator at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, whilst also giving much to the wider Diocese of Norwich as a Priest Vicar at Norwich Cathedral and through his involvement with planning an imaginative clergy conference held during the pandemic. He will be much missed but goes with our prayers and blessing to be a missionary in Kent.”

Fr Kevin will be inducted at St Augustine’s in the summer. His ministry as Priest Administrator will conclude on Monday 27th May, the National Pilgrimage. He will continue to serve the Shrine as a Priest Guardian of the Holy House.

Please pray for Fr Kevin and the people of St Augustine’s, Belvedere, for all the Shrine staff and for the Guardians as they seek to appoint a new Priest Administrator.