Fr Peter Birmingham’s funeral will take place in his home parish in Radcliffe, Bury, where his vocation began and matured and where most of his close knit family still reside.
His mortal remains will be received into the church of St Mary and St Philip Neri, Radcliffe, on Tuesday 5th January at 7.00pm with Mass. The following day, Wednesday 6th January at 12noon, Bishop John will celebrate his Requiem which will be followed by burial in Radcliffe cemetery.
The post code for the church is M26 4DG. While parishioners are welcome to attend either Mass, for those who wish to go to the Requiem on Wednesday a coach will depart St Mary’s Sabden at 10.15am on the 6th and following the funeral will depart Radcliffe at 1.45 to return to Sabden. The coach is free and some seats are available but if you wish to travel you must inform Pat Whitwell ( (01282 774588) before Sunday evening.
Fr Peter died early on Tuesday 22nd December at Nazareth House Prestwich in his eighty third year and the fifty fourth year of his Priesthood, following diagnosis of stomach cancer two years ago. During the whole of this period his indomitable spirit and cheerfulness never left him.
Fr Peter was born on 15th August 1933, and was baptised in St Mary and St Philip Neri’s old church on 27th August 1933 and was confirmed on 10th May 1942. He was educated in the parish school and worked for a period before being accepted for training to the priesthood in February 1954. This began with two years at Osterley to bring his education up to scratch before joining the major seminary programme at St Cuthbert’s College, Ushaw, in September 1956.
He was ordained in our Cathedral on 16th June 1962, by the Bishop George Andrew Beck.
As Assistant Priest he served at Holy Family, Kirkholt for 8 years before transferring to Holy Saviour, Nelson where he and his successful youth club became well known, even outside the town.
In 1984 he was appointed Parish Priest of St Teresa, Irlam and nine years later to St Joseph, Accrington before his arrival at St Mary, Sabden in 1997. While at Sabden, in 2004, he also took responsibility for St Anne, Blackburn until his retirement in 2008.
Throughout his appointments Fr Birmingham also served as a Chaplain to the Army Cadet Force.
His present appointment is with the Lord whom he served so faithfully throughout his life.