John Benedict Thompson was born on 10 June 1935, the son of William and Alice Thompson. He was educated at St Mary's College, Crosby and then at St Joseph's College, Upholland. He was ordained priest by Archbishop John Carmel Heenan at St Peter and St Paul, Crosby on 12 June 1960.
He served at St Joseph's, Leigh for four years as assistant priest before being sent for further studies in autumn 1964. He resided for two years at the Beda College in Rome while completing a licentiate in canon law at the Gregorian University. Upon his return to the Archdiocese he was appointed assistant priest at Sacred Heart, Liverpool in September 1966 and also as a notary in the Metropolitan Tribunal. The following September he was appointed secretary to Bishop Augustine Harris, the then auxiliary bishop, and also chaplain to La Sagesse school, Grassendale.
In February 1972, following an invitation from Fr Agnellus Andrew, then director of the Catholic Radio and Television Centre at Hatch End, he went to work at the BBC in Manchester in the Religious Broadcasting Department, which he did for the next four years. After a brief secondment at Hatch End, he returned to the Archdiocese in June 1976 as chaplain to Liverpool Polytechnic and also to work at BBC Radio Merseyside. He was very much part of BBC Radio Merseyside during the early years of local radio, building up a following through his Sunday morning programme All in Good Faith, which ran until 1987.
Even when his regular programme finished, he continued to contribute to Thought for the Day. During his time as religious producer he broadcast many live discussion programmes during Lent and played a major part in the coverage of Pope John Paul II's visit to Liverpool in 1982. He will be remembered for his warmth and humour, which made him a friend to all through his many years of broadcasting.
He will be remembered too with great affection by his parishioners at St Leo's, Whiston where he was parish priest from 1982 to 1984 and especially at St Francis de Sales, Walton where he was parish priest for the last 32 years. He also undertook missionary work with the charity SURVIVE-MIVA, taking an active role in delivering their vehicles overseas.
Father Thompson's body will be received into St Francis de Sales' Church, Walton by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon for Mass on Tuesday 8 November at 7pm. His funeral Mass will be celebrated at St Francis de Sales on Wednesday 9 November at 11am, followed by burial at St Peter and St Paul, Crosby.
May he rest in peace.