A NUMBER of priests are moving on to pastures new as part of a major shake-up of clergy posts in the Diocese of Paisley.

Bishop John Keenan announced a number of changes in parish appointments, chaplaincies and other roles across Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire.

The changes will be effective from Friday, October 13.

After meeting with the priests concerned, Bishop John said: “Many thanks to all our priests who have demitted parishes and posts for their wonderful work and many thanks to all those who generously accepted their new roles.

“We have the best clergy we could hope for.”

Among those moving to a new post is Canon Jim Duggan, who is currently parish priest at St Joseph’s, in Clarkston, but is to take over at St Charles’, in Paisley, replacing the Reverend Stephen Baillie.

Canon Duggan will also serve as lead chaplain to St Andrew’s Academy, in Paisley, and chaplain to the town’s Accord Hospice.

Rev Baillie will move in the opposite direction as he becomes parish priest at St Joseph’s and lead chaplain to St Ninian’s High School, in Giffnock.

Rev Gerry McNellis is to leave his post as parish priest at St Mary’s, in Paisley, to take over from Monsignor Gerry Gallagher at St Ninian’s, in Gourock.

He will be replaced at St Mary’s by Rev Jude Okorie, who is currently administrator of St Fergus’ and St James’, in Paisley.

Rev John Morrison, formerly of St Patrick’s, in Greenock, will make the move to St Fergus’ and St James’, as well as serving as chaplain to the University of the West of Scotland.

Newly-ordained priest Matthew Carlin has been appointed curate to St Mirin’s Cathedral, in Paisley, and assistant chaplain to St Andrew’s Academy, as well as chaplain to the local Girl Guides.

Rev Jonathan Whitworth, who is also newly ordained, has been appointed curate to St Joseph’s, in Clarkston, assistant chaplain to St Ninian’s High and chaplain to the Scouts.

Bishop John also confirmed a number of other appointments within the diocese, including Rev John Bollan as Assistant Director of Education.

Canon Thomas Boyle takes on the role of Press Secretary, with Rev Paul Brady named Director of the Permanent Diaconate and Rev Gerry McNellis appointed as Diocesan Director of Pilgrimages.