In an atmosphere of great warmth but much sadness, and in defiance of the drizzle outside, Father Paul Chavasse
was the principal celebrant at the Requiem Mass for Father Gregory Winterton, at the Birmingham Oratory, Edgbaston on Tuesday, 24 January 2012, the Feast of St Francis de Sales.
After the welcome by Father Chavasse
, a special message from the Most Reverend Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham
, was read by the Vicar General, Canon
That earlier drizzle had stopped and the sun was gently breaking through the late January clouds as Father Paul Chavasse
said the final prayers.
The body of Father Gregory Winterton, who died peacefully in the care of the Little Sisters of the Poor in Harborne, on Wednesday 18 January 2012, aged 89, was received by Father Paul Chavasse at the Hagley Road gates of the Oratory Church, Edgbaston, at 6.30pm on the evening of Monday 23 January.
I was in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia on Wednesday 18 January when I received the text from Father Paul Chavasse with the news that Father Gregory had died peacefullyÂ a few hours earlier.
Father Gregory Winterton and Father Paul Chavasse
pictured at the end of Mass on St Philip's Day, 26 May 2011,
Fr Paul Chavasse, Provost of the Oratory 1992-2009, founded by Blessed John Henry Newman, preached.
Geoff Molly Jones Fr Paul Chavasse The Oratory
12 Feb 300x232 Oratory Funeral for Geoff Jones, Stalwart of the Catholic Church in Birmingham
Geoff and Molly Jones pictured with Fr Paul Chavasse
in the Oratory Church
, Edgbaston, a few years ago.
During his exceptional and at times amusing homily, Fr Paul Chavasse
told the congregation that one of the last things that Geoff Jones had said to Molly and him, one afternoon as they sat with him shortly before his death, was: "The Oratory
has always been here for us."
Fr Paul Chavasse
pictured reading the Gospel before he
Â Fr Chavasse
emphasised that: "Geoff's life and work for the Church helped and encouraged so many people, who were inspired by his
recalled the words of the poem attributed to Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953), a former pupil of Newman's Oratory School
, seeing it as in many ways a fitting description of Geoff's philosophy of life:
Fr Paul Chavasse
concluded: "But more importantly, Geoff, a poor sinner, would want our prayers and our Masses offered for the repose of his soul, as he enters on his most awesome journey."