Fond farewell to devoted priest

John was one of the unique characters of Garstang
John was one of the unique characters of Garstang
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The Rev John Finch, one of Garstang’s great characters, has died at the age of 95.

Mr Finch, who had also become a well known personality within the Goosnargh community after making his home there three years ago, died peacefully on Sunday at the Royal Preston Hospital surrounded by his family.

A most faithful priest and above all a devoted husband and father

Born in East Lancashire, Mr Finch was vicar of St Helen’s, Churchtown from 1975 until 1986 and became honorary curate at St Thomas’, Garstang, until 1999.

Paying tribute to the father-of-three, friend of 31 years Canon Ron Greenall said: “John was one of the unique characters of Garstang and a friend to so many.

“A most faithful priest and above all a devoted husband and father. He certainly missed his wife Hannah, but it did not stop him enjoying life.

“A priest of the old school, but with a mind that took in modern thought, he even wrestled with a computer and he is the only vicar I have known who had his own beer tankard in his local inn, The Punchbowl.”

Mr Finch was a past master and chaplain of St Michael’s-on-Wyre Lodge and with Hannah formed Garstang Masonic Fellowship for retired Masons and their wives.

Founder of the Voice of the Church column in the Garstang Courier and Longridge News in the late 1970s, Mr Finch was a regular visitor to the newspapers’ offices .

On his move to Goosnargh Mr Finch became an active resident of Bushell House and St Mary’s Church community, lending a hand and joining in whenever he could and was still singing in St Mary’s choir until seven weeks ago.

Mr Finch’s funeral and thanksgiving service is on Tuesday, November 3 at 12.30pm at St Helen’s Church, to be followed by a private interment at St Thomas’, Garstang.