Obituary of Rev Philip Barrett

Long-time priest of Holy Family, Platt Bridge mourned

Father Philip Barrett, who served as parish priest of Holy Family, Platt Bridge for 22 years, died on Tuesday 17 December aged 94 and in the 70th year of his priesthood.

Philip Charles Barrett was born in Donoughmore, Co Cork on 26 May 1925, the son of Philip and Margaret Barrett. He received his early education at Stuake Primary School, Donoughmore and St Colman’s College, Fermoy. Later he began his seminary formation at St Kieran’s College, Kilkenny, during which time he was accepted as a candidate for the Archdiocese of Liverpool in 1946. He was ordained priest at St Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny on 4 June 1950.

Following his ordination he was appointed briefly to Our Lady Immaculate, Everton before taking up a more stable appointment at St Oswald’s, Ashton-in-Makerfield in September 1950. In 1958 he was appointed to St Benet’s, Netherton before beginning a ten-year period as assistant at St Ambrose, Speke from February 1959. In August 1969 he was asked to assume the temporary administration of St Mary Magdalen, Penwortham before moving to St Jude’s, Wigan for his final appointment as assistant priest in November 1969.

He was appointed parish priest in February 1977, when he took up the pastoral care of St Winefride’s, Bootle. In April 1981 he was asked to assume responsibility for Holy Family, Platt Bridge. This was to be his final and longest appointment in the archdiocese, being parish priest at Holy Family for 22 years until his retirement in April 2003.

Throughout his priestly life he maintained an interest in learning. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree through the Open University and in 1980 he obtained a Master of Philosophy degree from Liverpool Polytechnic with a thesis entitled ‘Crime and Punishment in a Lancashire Industrial Town: Law and Social Change in the Borough of Wigan 1800–1850’.

His Funeral Mass was celebrated on Friday 3 January at Holy Family, Platt Bridge, prior to burial in Ireland.