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Tributes to Clayton-le-Moors priest Father David Foster

The former St Mary's parish priest died on June 5, aged 71 after illness

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Fr David Foster

Tributes have been paid after the death of a priest who served across the North West for 40 years before returning home.

Father David Foster, of Clayton-le-Moors, was baptised and brought up in the town’s St Mary’s parish, where he was ordained as a Catholic priest in April 1974.

He passed away peacefully after a long illness in the Royal Blackburn Hospital, on Tuesday, June 5, aged 71.

Throughout his priesthood Fr. David served the Diocese of Salford in a number of postings.

These included at St Anne’s, Blackburn from 1974-78 and St Peter’s, Mill Hill, from 1987-1999, St Joseph’s in Darwen from 1999 to 2006 and several parishes across Greater Manchester.

He also had a seven-year stint as director of junior clergy between 1987 and 1994.

He retired due to ill health in 2014 after a three-year tenure as parish priest at St Peter & St Paul’s in Ribchester.

Bishop John Arnold, Bishop of Salford, paid tribute to Fr David.

He said: “We are deeply saddened by the death of Fr David Foster, a faithful priest of the Diocese.

“Fr David was a popular priest in the many parishes he served.

“He will be greatly missed, not just by his parishioners but by those people in the wider community, who knew and worked with him in his teaching roles.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends who we keep in our prayers at this time.”

Following his retirement, Fr. David was cared for by his housekeeper Dorothy.

He was educated at Holy Family Accrington, St Mary’s College Blackburn and the University of Salford.

Prior to his ordainment Fr. David was accepted as an Ecclesiastical student for the Diocese of Salford in June 1970 and attended The Beda College, Rome.

He leaves his brother Jim, sister-in-law Mavis and their family and his housekeeper Dorothy.

Fr David’s body will be received into St Mary’s Church, Clayton-le-Moors for concelebrated Mass conducted by the Dean Father Simon Stamp along with clergy of the Deanery at 7pm on Tuesday, June 19.

Bishop of Salford John Arnold will then celebrate the Requiem Mass at St Mary’s on Wednesday, June 20 at 12noon, followed by committal at Dill Hall Lane cemetery in Accrington.

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The funeral director will be Peter Regan at Hyndburn Funeral Services, Accrington.