OBITUARY OF JOHN WALTON. Deacon of Our Lady Star of the Sea church.
Obituary by the Rt Revd Michael Campbell OSA, Bishop of Lancaster.
Reproduced by kind permission of The Catholic Voice
It is with great sadness that I must inform you that one of our senior deacons, John Walton, died on Thursday 23rd September 2010 – may he rest in the peace of the Risen Christ. John had been poorly for some time but remained serene all through his illness, bravely trusting in the providence of Almighty God.
John Gerard Walton was born in Manchester on 25th September 1926 and attended St Teresa’s Catholic Primary School, Firstwood, Manchester. Shortly afterwards the family moved to St Annes on Sea where John attended school at Our Lady Star of the Sea and then St Joseph’s College, Blackpool. From 1940 to 1946, John tried his vocation to the Priesthood at Ushaw College, Durham. In 1956, John married Pauline at Our Lady Star of the Sea church and for many years John and Pauline were both, very much involved in the life of Our Lady’s Parish.
In his working life John worked in the Civil Service and in Insurance. Later he was involved for a period as a prison visitor/counsellor and chairman of a Trust which sought to find alternatives to prison in society. After a period of formation, John was eventually ordained to the Permanent Diaconate on 9th May 1982. For some years John served in the role of ‘Director of Deacons’ in the Diocese and even more recently, when John had to take things much more slowly, he was still able to attend Mass most days and remained a great supporter of the parish community by his prayer and example.
Bishop Michael Campbell OSA
Mgr. Canon Aidan Turner speaking at Deacon John’s funeral said “A gentle humour and love and interest in the Church were at the heart of Deacon John’s life”. He said “One of Deacon John’s great gifts was a quiet wisdom which led Canon Carey to name him ‘The Owl’”.
Eternal rest grant unto John, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.
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