The former Parish Priest of the Moorland Sanctuary, St Joseph, Brinscall, died suddenly on Monday 30 May at the age of 89. Father John Kenneth Smith served at Brinscall for fourteen years.
He was born on 12 November 1921 at Upholland, Lancashire, the son of Joseph and Mary Gertrude. He was educated at All Hallows, Roby Mill and St Cuthbert, Pemberton before studying for the priesthood at St Cuthbert’s College, Ushaw, where he was ordained on 22 July 1946. Two years later his younger brother, Francis, was also ordained and is now Parish Priest of St Patrick, Newton le Willows.
In August 1946 Father Ken Smith was appointed to St Patrick, Liverpool. In January 1956 he moved to St Mary, Chorley, and in November 1962 to St Aidan of Lindisfarne, Huyton. He remained there until August 1968 when he moved to St John the Evangelist, Liverpool. In April 1973 he received his first appointment as Parish Priest to Holy Angels, Kirkby, and in July 1976 he was appointed Parish Priest to St Joseph, Brinscall, where he remained until his retirement in August 1990.
His Funeral Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Patrick Kelly at Our Lady and All saints, Parbold, on Friday 10 June. At the Mass the Archbishop recalled Father Ken’s own request for his funeral: ‘the Requiem Mass in not a celebration of life here below, but a humble supplication for absolution and forgiveness, and for the assurance of a blessed eternity. So let it be for me.’