Former Padiham priest dies

Fr Denis Dwyer
Fr Denis Dwyer

A popular parish priest who served at a Padiham church for more than 30 years has died in his native Ireland.

Fr Denis Dwyer bid farewell to his parishioners at St Philip’s RC Church in Slade Lane in April 2008 aged 76 to retire and move back home to Ireland.

News of his death last weekend has come through to saddened parishioners this week. Fr Dwyer had been at St Philip’s for 33 years and told the Express at the time that he was extremely sad to be leaving as he had loved his time in Padiham. However, ill health had forced the decision upon him.

At his retirement service 20 priests concelebrated Mass with Fr Dwyer and St Philip’s was packed with parishioners saying an emotional farewell.

Fr Dwyer was ordained in Tipperary in 1957 and served in Bolton, Middleton and Accrington before arriving at St Philip’s in 1975. He later said that one of his greatest achievements was paying off the church’s debt and building the present church hall which opened in 1980.

Prayers have been said for him at the church this week and one congregation member said he was a much loved and popular priest and she had kept in touch with him by letter three of four times a year keeping him abreast of events in Padiham.