A huge congregation at the Requiem Mass for Stephen at St. Joseph’s, Ansdell marked the loss of one of the most gifted priests from the Lancaster Diocese.

Born in St. Peter’s Parish, Lytham, at an early age he left for St. Michael’s College, Underly to train for his vocation in the Priesthood. From 1978-1982 he became Assistant Priest at St. Ignatious, Preston, followed by St. Clare’s where he was also Hospital Chaplain at Royal Preston Hospital until 1985, Priest at Christ the King, Blackpool and St. Anthony of Padua until 1992.

On his visits back home to Lytham he learned the art of bellringing which he continued during his time at Lancaster Cathedral until 1997 (including a quarter peal of Bob Royal there). As Parish Priest of St. Mary of Furness, Barrow and finally at St. Thomas’s, Claughton until 2008, he then came home to assist at St. Joseph’s.

Throughout his career Stephen has been held with much affection and always greatly appreciated. He was one of those people whose character rubbed off on you somewhere along the way. It was hard to be entirely serious when he was around which made him very good at putting everyone at their ease. The worries of being a priest were sidetracked, particularly at St. Joseph’s where, having climbed into the ringing room, he could just relax and simply be one of the band. His quick wit, with a knack of noticing things that most people overlooked, amused all.

Sid Lloyd

BB BellBoard
Central Council of Church Bell Ringers