Obituary of Rev Gerald Hurst

Isle of Man's stalwart priest mourned

Father Gerald Hurst, who was parish priest at St Mary's, Castletown on the Isle of Man for 34 years, died on Tuesday 15 August, the Feast of Our Lady's Assumption into heaven. He was 88 years old and in the 63rd year of his priesthood.
 
Gerald Hurst was born at Haydock on 3 February 1929, the son of John and Margaret Hurst. He attended Blessed English Martyrs School, Haydock, and St Joseph's College, Upholland, where he was ordained priest in the college chapel by Archbishop William Godfrey on 4 June 1955.
 
His first appointment was as assistant priest to Canon Gregory Doyle at the Pro-Cathedral in August 1955. Then in April 1960 he was named assistant priest to Father John Gavin at St Agnes, Huyton.
 
Between 1963 and 1979 he served as a chaplain in the Royal Navy. For most of his commission he served on HMS Fulmar at Lossiemouth.  However, his varied duties also saw him serve on HMS Jufair at Bahrain, HMS Cochrane at Rosyth, HMS Drake at Devonport and HMS Neptune at Faslane.
 
In October 1979 he returned to the Archdiocese to take charge of the parish of St Mary in Castletown, where he remained until his retirement in November 2013. He also had care of the parish of St Columba at Port Erin and Port St Mary. Upon his retirement he moved initially to Ince Blundell, and later to a care home at Platt Bridge, where he became a familiar figure to many parishioners at Holy Family as a result.
 
His Funeral Mass was celebrated at Holy Family Church, Platt Bridge on Friday 1 September, followed by burial at St Oswald's, Ashton-in-Makerfield.