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Celebrating the life of Father Geoffrey Hargreaves

Fr Geoffrey Hargreaves

On Sunday 30 April, Fr Geoffrey Hargreaves sadly passed away after a short illness. He had lived at St Joseph’s Care Home since January 2016 and is remembered by staff as ‘a lovely chap, always chatty’.

Born in 1948 in Walsall, Fr Geoffrey was not always a Catholic priest. He was baptised at St Matthew’s C of E Church and started work as a teenager making dog collars at a leatherworks. He converted to Roman Catholicism at the age of 18 and at 20 became a Postulant Brother at a Franciscan Friary in Essex.

He studied for the priesthood in the 1970s in London and was ordained a priest by Bishop Joseph Cleary in Walsall in 1979.  In less than a year he received his first posting, to Cordoba in Argentina. He was there, working in the Parish of St Teresa de Avila, when the Falklands War broke out.

This was a difficult time for an Englishman. To leave the country he had to make an eight-hour journey to Buenos Aires, with clearance from the Chief of Police, to get exit papers from an office behind the Casa Rosada (Presidential Palace).

But this wasn’t the end of his South American adventures. From 1983 to 1990 he was a parish priest in four parishes in Venezuela, before returning to England.

In the early 1990s he worked as parish priest in four parishes in the Midlands—Nechells, Aston, Great Barr and Wolverhampton. His last posting, at Holy Trinity in Bilston, was to be his longest, stretching for twenty years until his retirement to St Joseph’s.

Fr Geoffrey was an extremely popular man, who will be greatly missed by both staff and residents at St Joseph’s. Rest in peace, Father.

 

Fr Geoffrey's Funeral Mass will be held at Holy Trinity, Bilston, on Tuesday 23 May at 12 noon.

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