Former Clare prior will lead UK order

A former prior at Clare, Father Paul Graham OSA, who became the first Englishman to head the Augustinian Order in Britain since the Reformation when fellow-friars chose him as their Provincial in 1997, will take up the post again in April next year.

He will succeed Father David Middleton OSA, a member of the Clare Priory Community in Suffolk, who has been Augustinian Provincial for the past seven years and is currently

president of the Order’s Conference of European Provincials.

Father Paul, who was Prior of Clare when he was first elected Provincial of the Augustinian Order, at the age of 49, has been parish priest at St Monica’s Priory, Hoxton Square, London, for the past seven years.

He is currently a member of the seven-man international commission preparing for the Order’s six-yearly chapter in Rome in August-September 2013, which will be attended by Augustinian friars from more than 40 countries around the world.

Says Father David Middleton, the present Provincial: ‘Next year marks the 60th anniversary of the friars’ return to Clare, and will see the completion of a major extension to the church. It was in Father Paul’s time as Provincial and Prior at Clare that the planning for the church started, 13 or 14 years ago, and it has taken all these years to get it under way. So I am sure he will have a keen interest in the

realisation of his hopes when he visits Clare as Provincial.

‘Father Paul has a wide experience of the UK Province and its needs, and he has a great knowledge of the Order as a whole. So he is well placed to take up the reins of office again in April 2013.’