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Sign of the Dove
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...The keynote speech was given by Fr Andy Graydon, Chaplain, Doncaster and South Humber Mental Health Trust. He reminded us that our minds are so full of clutter, bombarded with so many thoughts; we lose sight of the deeper essence of who we are. One way back into that essence is to find the space, the gaps between the thoughts, a stillness that puts us in touch with the deeper essence of who we truly are. We are the witnessing presence of our thoughts and not our thoughts. People who identify with their thoughts will live in the world of thoughts and not in reality, which is madness....
(Source: Hallam News, June 2008)
Parishioners at St Joseph's, Dinnington, have welcomed their new parish priest, Fr Andy Graydon, who has moved from English Marytrs, Mexborough.
Fr Andy has taken over from Fr Brian Green, who has taken semi-retirement after 30 years at St Joseph's. He is staying on in Dinnington to help Fr Andy, who also works as a hospital Chaplain. The pair are sharing the Presbytery where the garage has been converted into an office for Fr Brian.
The move to Dinnington has brought Fr Andy full circle because St Joseph's is where he started out as a deacon to Fr Brian back in 1978. Fr Andy worked in St Joseph's for six months before moving on to Denaby Main as a curate.
He was ordained as a priest in July 1979. From Denaby Main he moved to St Peter's in Doncaster where he also worked as a chaplain at McAuley High School. He later moved to Woodseats, Sheffield, before heading to Mexborough where he served as parish priest for nearly 20 years.
Fr Andy, 52, who grew up in Elland, near Halifax, said he was pleased to be back in Dinnington, where a welcome party was laid on for him at St Joseph's Primary School. He said "Everyone has been very welcoming and I'm settling in nicely."
Fr Andy will continue his work as a hospital chaplain for Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber Mental Health Foundation Trust and said he was ideally placed in Dinnington to work at several local NHS units.
He has worked as a hospital chaplain for some ten years and has received two awards for his dedicated service. He received the Chairman's award for Outstanding Achievement by a Non-Clinical Member of Staff in 2006 and, before that, received an award which goes alongside that of Nurse of the Year which is given to a non-nursing member of staff for 'outstanding care'.
Fr Andy is pictured below at a disco at St Joseph's School.
Report: Helen Johnson
Photograph: Margaret Edge
(Source: Hallam News, April 2008)
Mary and Patrick Johnson celebrated their silver wedding by renewing their marriage vows at St Michael's Church in Calverton on 23rd February.
They were joined by seventy friends and family members. Mary is a former headteacher of St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, Dinnington. Mass was concelebrated by Fr Brian Green, her cousin, and Fr Andy Graydon. The couple were presented with a papal blessing.
After Mass a very convivial meal was enjoyed by everyone at Woodborough Hall.
(Source: Hallam News, April 2008)
A priest who won a big cheer in church when his arrival in Dinnington was announced officially took charge last Friday.
Fr Andy Graydon was introduced to the children of St Joseph's RC Primary School ahead of his first weekend of services at St Joseph's Church and Kiveton's St Augustine's last weekend.
The 52-year-old, from West Yoskshire, has spent the last two decades at the English Martyrs Church in Mexborough, and had his first taste of Dinnington 30 years ago.
He had previously joined Fr Brian Green - who last wekk moved into semi-retirement - as a deacon at St Joseph's for eight months back in 1978.
"I've not had chance to look at the differences since I was last here," said Fr Graydon. "I can see that it has changed a great deal, as you woudl expect over 30 years. But I can still see a lot of familiar faces."
"From the Church's point of view, the place has grown and developed."
"It was a mining community when I first came here. Now the mines have gone it's a different clientele. But the Church has always been strong here and there's a real sense of community."
Away from the usual parish duties, Fr Graydon is involved in working with patients at the Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber Mental Health Trust, a full-time position which has brought him personal pride and professional acclaim.
"It's something I got into when someone asked if I could help out," he said. "I enjoyed it and felt it was something I could do well in. I seemed to get on with the people well and it's developed since then."
"It's not something where you often see immediate results, but it's very rewarding."
Fr Graydon born into a life of religious faith.
He grew up in Elland, near Halifax, and attended Catholic schools as a youngster. He decided he wanted to work for the Church while only in his mid-teens.
And it was during his training at Durham in the early 70s that he first met Fr Green, who was lecturing at the time.
He spends his spare time playing the classical guitar, practicing martial arts like jujitsu and supporting the Campaign for Real Ale.
Fr Green says any church-goers in the parish who do not know Fr Graydon already will soon be familiar with his laugh.
"I've never seen him anything but happy, he radiates it. He's always cheerful and always laughing," he said. "Most people here in Dinnington know him already. When it was announced that he was coming here there was a big cheer in church."
"I'll still be here to help out. In fact I think I'll be working just as hard as I have been, because Andy also does a lot of important work with hospitals."
A garage at the Swinston Hill presbytery has been customised for Fr Green to remain in the parish, alongside Fr Graydon.
"It will be like a partnership between us," said Fr Green. "It's very good because I never wanted to retire. I can't imagine there being any problems."
"People have said it must be the only en suite garage in Dinnington," he joked. "Jesus spent his first few days in a stable and spending my final years in a garage!"
Looking forward to his second spell in Dinnington, Fr Graydon said: "I would like to keep the Church's strength going. I think that will be an achievement in itself."
"I want to be there for people, almost like a spiritual guru figure."
by Gareth Dennison
(Source: Dinnington and Maltby Guardian, Friday 8th February 2008)
Newcomers to St Joseph's parish, Dinnington, were treated to a slap-up meal to welcome them into the community.
Anyone who had joined the church community since the year 2000 was invited to the dinner, held in the parish rooms. Parish priest, Fr Brian Green, joined the diners who were waited on by longstanding parishioners.
The welcome meal is a tradition at St Joseph's and has proved an excellent ice breaker for newcomers to get to know other parishioners. The first newcomeers' meal with Fr Brian was held some 17 years ago.
Helper Monica Carroll, who also helped 17 years ago, said: "It was a great night and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves."
In our photograph above Fr Brian chats with newcomers at the welcome dinner.
A spontaneous collection at St Joseph's, Dinnington, recently raised nearly £590 for victims of the recent South Yorkshire floods. Dinnington was one of the towns affected by the torrential rain in June.
(Source: Hallam News, September 2007)
'He is a tremendously
kind and caring man'
by Chantal Spittles
I wasn't going to stay when I came to Dinnington, then I decided nothing was going to take me away."
These are the words of St Joseph's parish priest, Fr Brian Green, who is taking a small step down from his duties after 30 years of service in the community.
The Sheffield born priest, 78, was stunned to be presented with the Guardian Rose by Headteacher John Greenwood during a busy lunchtime at St Joseph's RC Primary School.
"This is such a nice surprise," he said. "I don't know what to say, except that I have absolutely loved my time in Dinnington, and I never want to leave."
Mr Greenwood said Mr Green was more than deserving of the Rose, having dedicated more than 30 years of love and hard work to the community.
"He is a treemendously kind, caring and thoughtful parish priest who has devoted many years to the people of Dinnington," said Mr Greenwood.
"He's a very much-loved man in our school and the community. He spends two lunchtimes a week with the children and they love him."
After training at Durham College, Mr Green spent 12 years serving various dioceses in Leeds before returning to the college to train new priests.
He moved to Dinnington in 1977 to take up residence as the town's parish priest - a post he said he did not expect to last long.
"I didn't plan on staying here for a long time, but that changed and I always say they are going to have to carry me out of here in a box before I leave," he said. "The people in the parish are so warm and caring."
He added that the town's community spirit really came together after a serious fire in St Joseph's Church in 1981.
"That really welded the community together," he said. "We held masses in each other's homes - it was a really positive time, and I think it's continued."
Mr Green will hand over the reins to Fr Andy Graydon today in a special ceremony at the school, but will continue to live at the presbytery and carry out routine duties.
"I will still come down to the school twice a week to see the children," he said.
"They are so funny and a joy to talk to."
And he too is clearly popular with St Joseph's pupils, judging by their thoughts on his semi-retirement.
Over the past few weeks the children have been busy preparing a special book for Mr Green, packed with jokes, memories and anecdotes.
On one page, year 3 pupil Owen wrote: "Fr Green is a nice man because he makes me laugh."
And fellow pupil Kate had this to say: "The thing I like about Mr Green is that he is always happy and jolly - no matter what happens."
Mr Green said he looked forward to the future, adding that he had been extremely fortunate to have worked in Dinnington.
"It's an amazing community," he said. "I've got lots of great memories here and I look forward to many more."
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by Chantal Spittles
(Source: Dinnington and Maltby Guardian, Friday 1st February 2008)
Fr John Harland Jackson died on 17th June.
Fr Jackson was born in 1992 and studied for the priesthood at Ushaw College. He was ordained on 13th April, 1947 in Leeds.
Before becoming a parish priest he served as a curate in four parishes, Christ the King, Leeds, St Thomas More, Sheffield, Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Leeds and St Wilfrid's, Ripon.
Fr Jackson became a parish priest in 1964 at St Joseph's, Dinnington. In 1970 he moved to St Philip's, Leeds, where he served for six years. In 1967 he became parish priest of Blessed Sacrament, Athersley. His final appointment was at St Patrick's, Harworth, where he ministered over the course of 20 years.
May he rest in peace.
(Source: Hallam News, August 2005)
Parishioners at English Martyrs Church, Mexborough, celebrated the Silver Jubilee of priest in residence, Fr Andy Graydon.
The concelebrated Mass was followed by a gathering of 160 parishioners, family, friends and hospital colleagues.
Fr Andy has been full-time hospital Chaplain to Doncaster Health Trust for the past seven years and has recently been appointed to Rotherham and Doncaster Mental Health Services.
Congratulations to Fr Andy.
Fr Andy Graydon
(Source: Hallam News, August 2004?)