Obituary of Deacon Peter Fehrenbach

'A constant and reliable presence'

Peter Joseph Fehrenbach was born on 27 July 1931 and baptised in Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Sheffield. He attended schools in Clitheroe and Sheffield before studying at Lancashire College of Agriculture and Harper Adams Agricultural College in Shropshire and pursuing a career in marketing agricultural products. He married his beloved wife Margaret at St Kentigern’s parish in Blackpool in 1958 and they settled in Southport with their three children, Paul, Anne and Martin.
 
Peter was very much involved in the parish of St Marie on the Sands as a Reader and Eucharistic Minister, an authorised person for registration of marriages and chair of the parish and deanery pastoral councils. Father Chris Crowley, then parish priest of St Marie’s, approached Peter to suggest that he may have a vocation to the permanent diaconate and after some time for thought and discussion with Margaret, Peter applied and was accepted for formation in 1988. He was ordained deacon in the Metropolitan Cathedral on 30 June 1991 and appointed to serve the parish of St Marie on the Sands, which he did faithfully for fifteen years until his retirement in July 2006 on reaching his 75th birthday.
 
Peter was well known and respected by many people in the parish, a constant and reliable presence. He and Margaret helped found the Bereavement Group in the parish and they were active in support of family life in the wider area and in the Archdiocese. Peter was for some years the Archdiocesan Coordinator of Formation for Eucharistic Ministers and was a faithful and active member of the diaconal family. After his retirement he and Margaret continued their involvement at St Marie’s, attending daily Mass there until just a few weeks before his death on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, 2 February 2020.
 
Archbishop Emeritus Patrick Kelly celebrated the Funeral Mass for Peter in St Marie’s Church on Wednesday 19 February prior to committal in a family grave near Blackpool.