…that’s not Jimmy Cricket but his youngest son, Frankie Mulgrew.
Frankie has been ordained a deacon and is now just 12 months away from becoming a Roman Catholic priest.
The service was held in the chapel at St Mary’s College, Oscott in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham on Saturday (30 June).
His diaconate ordination means Frankie, who describes himself on Twitter as a trainee priest/ex-comic, is a deacon for the next year and can perform certain functions of the Catholic Church.
And on his Facebook page, Frankie said: “Many thanks all, for your very kind comments…and just to clarify, my little sis jumped the gun with the ‘Fr’ comment…I became a Deacon last sat… (I knew she’d dose off).
“Priesthood is hopefully just a year off.. but I’m still available for weddings, baptisms, funerals…sideline in balloon modelling, etc.”
Frankie’s journey to this point has involved six years of study, with his first 12 months at the English College in Valladolid in north-central Spain to participate in a pre-novitiate year (contemplative foundation).
He then moved to the five years of full study which has got him to this stage. Four of those years were at St Cuthbert’s College in Ushaw, Durham, but it closed a year ago and his studies were transferred to Birmingham. He has one more academic year to undertake, which starts back in Birmingham in September.
His father, famous Irish comedian Jimmy, said: “The service was a long one! It was two hours and 15 minutes. It involved 10 other candidates who were also ordained deacons and they were from Birmingham, Nottingham, Hallam and East Anglia, to name a few.
“The service was presided over by Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham. There were in total around 70 members of the clergy there to support the ordination of the 11 candidates, plus sisters and brothers from other religious orders. Add to that family members and friends, and it all meant the chapel was rather full.
“The service itself asks for a commitment from the deacon to the church and to the local bishop. It also involves the handing-out of a book of Gospels to the deacon and they also receive their vestments.
“There is also a vow of celibacy taken, so that a full and unencumbered life can be devoted to the ministry of the church.”
Comedian Tim Vine, a very good friend of Frankie, also attended the service to see Frankie being ordained a deacon.
Frankie has now started his summer placement at the parish of Our Lady of the Valley in Lancashire. It covers the Clitheroe and Sabden communities within the beautiful Ribble Valley.
Jimmy added: “Frankie had a placement back in January at this parish for a month and really enjoyed his time there. This time he is only there for a fortnight, before he travels to London where he has been appointed as a voluntary chaplain to the athletes at the Olympic Village during the Olympic Games.
“He then has a bit of time in August, before he returns to St Mary’s College at the start of September.”