Being a relatively new parish, St Mary Magdalens is fortunate in having a complete record of all the clergy who have served and ministered in the parish since its formation, and parishioners still alive who have known all of them! Since its formation in 1954, the parish has been served by 10 parish priests and these are listed below in chronological order.
Fr Gerard Conlon RIP was the first parish priest to serve at St Mary Magdalens. He served the parish from 1954 to 1963, when was transferred by Bishop Parker to Luton - Ipswich being part of the Diocese of Northampton at that time. He passed away on December 12th, 1966.
Fr Conlon was succeeded in 1963 by Fr Alfred S Bull RIP. He served the parish for 14 years from 1963 to 1977, suffering increasingly poor health towards the end of that time. He retired from the parish to Thorpeness, and passed away three years later on December 20th, 1980.
Memorial prayer card for Fr Bull's Ordination Silver Jubilee.
The third parish priest at St Mary Magdalens was Fr Anthony Sketch. He succeeded Fr Bull in 1977 and was at St Mary Magdalens for 5 years until 1982, when he was moved by Bishop Alan Clark, the first bishop of the new Diocese of East Anglia, to the parish of Our Lady Star of the Sea at Lowestoft. During his time at St Mary Magdalens, Fr Sketch was responsible for the major transformation work that took place in the church. Fr Sketch passed away on 26th September, 2012.
Pictured in the parish hall at his farewell party in 1982, Fr Sketch cutting his cake.
Following Fr Sketch's departure, St Mary Magdalen church was served by Canon Edward McBride, Vicar General, from 1982 to 1989. Canon McBride passed away on on April 24th, 2011.
Memorial prayer card marking Canon McBride's 25th anniversary of Ordination, celebrated on 18th December 1968.
Fr Richard Healey, fifth parish priest, serving from 1989 to 1993.
Fr James Walsh, sixth parish priest, from 1993 to 2001.
Fr Michael Griffin, seventh parish priest, from 2001 to 2003
Fr Russel Frost, eighth parish priest, from 2003 to 2017.
During Fr Frost's tenure at St Mary Magdalens, the parish benefitted from the services of Fr Martin Orme who served as assistant priest until his retirement.
Canon Mathew George, who served as the ninth parish priest of St Mary Magdalens from 2017 to 2021.
Fr Paul Spellman, who was appointed as Priest Administrator by Bishop Alan Hopes, in November 2021, our tenth and current parish priest.