Parish Clergy

Welcome to our Parish – Our Lady of the Wayside in Shirley Solihull

We are a community of people who strive to answer the call of Christ by living out our Christian witness in following him in in his Church, in communion with our Archbishop and our Holy Father the Pope, who is the successor of St Peter.

At the very heart of our life is the worship of God at Mass, through which we are sanctified as his people. From the celebration of Mass, we receive the grace and strength of God’s Holy Spirit to live the life of Christ, serving him ever more faithfully in our local community and in the world. We welcome everyone to share in our faith.”

Fr Andrew Franklin was born in Chester.  His parents still live in Saltney nr Chester. He has one brother, a nephew and a niece.  He studied for the priesthood at St Marys College, Oscott between 1996 and 2003.  In 2001 he graduated from the University of Birmingham with a BA (Hons) in Applied Theology.  This was followed in 2003 with a degree Bachelor of Sacred Theology (STB) from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.

He was Ordained 3 July 2004 St Anthony’s Church, Saltney.

Since then:

  • Assistant Priest Our Lady Star of the Sea, Llandudno 2004-2007.
  • Chaplain to Blessed Edward Jones Catholic Secondary School, Rhyl 2005-2007.
  • September 2007-February 2011 Leave due to ill health.
  • 2011-2017 Assistant Priest, Christ the King and St Augustine’s, Coventry.
  • 2014-2017 Chaplain to Bishop Ullathorne Catholic Secondary School, Coventry.
  • 2017-2020. Parish Priest for St Joseph’s. He is also the Hospital Chaplain to Warwick Hospital and to the Central England Rehabilitation Centre in Whitnash.
  • 2020 – Parish Priest of Our Lady of the Wayside, Shirley.

In 2015 he undertook further studies in Canon Law again through Leuven University. He graduated with an MA and a Licentiate In Canon Law (JCL). Fr Andrew assists as a Judge and Canonical Advocate for the Birmingham and Welsh Marriage Tribunals respectively.

In his free time he likes to follow Manchester United and enjoys playing golf and squash.  Fr Andrew enjoys most foods, especially Indian and Liver and Onions! (he’s not to fond of salmon!!)  His favourite drinks are Sparkling Mineral Water or Diet Pepsi.  He also enjoys walking in the countryside with his Labradors Monty and Oak.

seanlooneMy name is Sean and I am the permanent deacon here at the parish of Our Lady of the Wayside, Shirley. As a permanent deacon I am allowed to be married and so indeed I am. My wife’s name is Pam and we have been married since 1981. We have three children, all boys, who are now mostly grown up – well in age that is. I have spent most of my working life in education in a variety of schools across the full age range from nursery all the way up to adult. At the moment I am working as an assistant chaplain in a school whilst also teaching, part time, at Saint Mary’s College Oscott, the seminary for the archdiocese of Birmingham. My areas of interest include Sacred Scripture and Christology. In my spare time I attempt to write articles for catholic periodicals such as the Pastoral Review.
As a deacon my emphasis is on the word ‘service’ which is a translation from the original Greek – diakonos. To me and I quote Cardinal Vincent Nicholls here, ‘The diaconate, and therefore the deacon is a living reminder of this truth.’ That the Church is a call to service which flows from God’s mercy. I find myself therefore in a unique position, as a married man with a family in full time employment who, at the same time, is called by Christ to serve his people wherever God’s love leads me. This is how Pope Francis put it:
‘The deacon is to be an apostle in his family, in his employment, in his community and on the new frontiers of mission today. He is to be an apostle of service, proclamation and charity, working with his fellow deacons, in close unity with the priests and in faithful communion with his bishop.’
The deacon then is one who is sent by the Church just as Christ was sent by his Father. Hence I see my own vocation as one whereby I am sent by the Father to be a companion of Our Lord in his work in the service of others. This brings me into a variety of contexts meeting God’s people where they are. As a result, I can find myself alongside people experiencing moments of desolation as they experience the death of a loved one. During the funeral liturgy I often emphasise the mercy of God who in the death of his Son triumphed over death and offers us a participation in that victory. For those who are broken and in desperate need of God’s love, once again as a minister of the Church I can offer words of God’s mercy. From baptisms to weddings, assisting and preaching at Mass, going into the parish school, being a foundation governor and RE advisor, leading talks and discussion groups during Advent, my role is always to bear witness to Christ – the servant – to be a living icon of his love, compassion and mercy.
There can be no greater privilege for me than being sent by God to work with his Son to serve and love his people. I can only pray that I am worthy enough and ask for your payers in the mission that Christ has entrusted to me. It would be impossible for me to do any of this without the support of my family, Fr. Gerardo our parish priest and the people of the parish of Our Lady of the Wayside and for this – I thank and bless you.
Your brother in Christ
Deacon Sean

“The parish is part of the Archdiocese of Birmingham: Registered Charity No. 234216”