Cancer death of much-loved Burnley vicar

The Rev. Lawrence Laycock (S)
The Rev. Lawrence Laycock (S)

A “much-loved and respected priest”, the Rev. Lawrence Laycock, has died at his home in Todmorden Road from cancer aged 73.

Father-of-three Mr Laycock was the priest at St John’s CE in Worsthorne and also St John the Divine, Cliviger, for many years and had been assistant priest at St Stephen’s and St Peter’s until his death on Monday.

Lawrence was a much-loved and respected priest who will be sadly missed by many people

Peter Pike

“Lawrence was working until about three weeks ago – he loved his job,” said wife Beverley. “We have been amazed by the response and how much he was loved. Everyone in the diocese has been extremely supportive.”

The former Barden High School pupil began his working life as a joiner with Burnley firm Mullen and Durkin.

He was also a quantity surveyor and glass company representative before running his own business.

Mr Laycock was closely involved with St Cuthbert’s Church and was a Scout leader for 20 years and also served as a churchwarden.

He felt a calling to the ministry and was ordained at the age of 47 in 1989 and was initially a curate in Blackpool.

He took over at St John’s, Worsthorne, aged 52 in 1994 and, two years later, Mr Laycock became Priest-In-Charge of Cliviger as well and was also Area Dean until 2010.

He immediately got involved in the community, carrying out a bike ride and abseiling to raise funds for church causes. He was also the part-time hospital chaplain.

In 2008, he retired from the churches in Cliviger and Worsthorne to become house duty vicar at St Stephen’s and St Peter’s.

Mr Laycock, who had battled cancer once until it returned, leaves wife Beverley and children Jane, Andrew and Helen as well as four grandchildren.

Former Burnley MP Peter Pike paid tribute to Mr Laycock. He said: “Lawrence was a much-loved and respected priest who will be sadly missed by many people.

“Some 12 years ago, he set up a steering committee to establish an Emmaus Project in Burnley to provide help for those who had become homeless and also give them a chance to rebuild their lives.

“When I retired as MP, he persuaded me to become chairman and that project became the 20th UK Emmaus community when it opened its doors over four years ago. He was a first class priest who was dedicated to the church and the community.”

Requiem Mass will be held at 10am on Wednesday, June 24th, at St Stephen’s Church, followed by interment at St John the Evangelist Chuch, Worsthorne.