Canon Gerard Wharton, former parish priest of Blessed Sacrament in Walton, St Oswald's, Old Swan and Our Lady of Good Help, Wavertree died on Sunday 12 February aged 86 and in the 60th year of his priesthood.
Thomas Gerard Wharton was born in Seaforth on 3 November 1930, the son of Thomas and Mary Wharton. He was educated at St Edmund's, Waterloo and St Joseph's College, Upholland where he was ordained priest in the college chapel on 6 July 1957.
He served as assistant priest in a number of parishes across the Archdiocese: St Matthew's, Clubmoor in August 1957; Sacred Heart, St Helens from September 1957; St Patrick's, Liverpool from October 1962; All Saints, Anfield from May 1968; and St Oswald's, Ashton-in-Makerfield from August 1977. He then acted as priest-in-charge at St Sylvester's, Liverpool from 1978 to 1983. In May 1983 he was appointed parish priest of Blessed Sacrament, Walton.
He subsequently served as parish priest in two more parishes: St Oswald's, Old Swan from November 1990 and Our Lady of Good Help, Wavertree from September 1998. Over the years he received many seminarians on placements in his parishes and proved to be inspirational through his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and Our Blessed Lady, and for the way in which he lived his life as a priest.
Following his retirement as parish priest in June 2004 he lived at: St Thomas's, Waterloo from 2004 to 2008; All Saints, Anfield from 2008 to 2011; Nazareth House, Crosby from 2011 to 2015; and finally at James Nugent Court, Liverpool from 2015. He was chaplain at Nazareth House, Crosby from 2006 until 2012.
For his services to the Archdiocese he was named an honorary canon in October 1992, and he served as a Canon of the Metropolitan Cathedral Chapter from 1998 until 2016.
For many people across the diocese Canon Wharton was a familiar figure as a loved and respected participant in the annual pilgrimage to Lourdes. He worked as chaplain to the Hospitalité from 1986 until 2001, and also had the honour of being made a Canon of the shrine of Lourdes on the occasion of his Golden Jubilee.
Canon Wharton's body will be received into All Saints' Church, Anfield on Wednesday 22 February at 7.30pm for the Vigil Mass. His Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Thursday 23 February at St Edmund's Church, Waterloo at 11.30 am. Later Canon Wharton's body will be buried in his parents' grave at St Peter and St Paul, Crosby.