Our Parish Family


Please pray for Father Philip Barrett, Parish Priest of Holy Family from 1981 until 2003, who died last Tuesday morning. His funeral rites will be celebrated here at Holy Family Church on Friday the 3rd of January at 12 noon prior to the transportation of his body to his native Ireland for burial at Donoughmore, County Cork.

Philip Charles Barrett was born on the 26th of May 1925 in Donoughmore, County Cork, Ireland, the son of Philip Charles and Margaret (Twomey) Barrett. His mother died while he was still a child.

He studied for the priesthood at Saint Kieran’s College, Kilkenny, where he was awarded a Diploma in Humanities and Philosophy and a Diploma in Theology and Canon Law and where he was ordained to the priesthood on the 4th of June 1950. Following ordination, he came to England, as was common practice at that time, to become a priest of the Archdiocese of Liverpool.

He served as Assistant Priest in the parishes of Saint Oswald, Ashton-in-Makerfield (1950 - 1958), Saint Benet, Netherton, Bootle (1958 - 1959), Saint Ambrose, Speke (1959 - 1969), and Saint Jude, Wigan (1969 - 1976). In 1977 he was appointed Parish Priest of Saint Winefride’s in Bootle before returning to Wigan in 1981 to be Parish Priest of The Holy Family, Platt Bridge.

In addition to his priestly responsibilities he found time to study for and gain the degrees of Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) from Liverpool Polytechnic University in 1980 and of Bachelor of Arts with Honours (B.A.Hons.) from the Open University in 1993.

He retired from active ministry in 2003 but continued to live locally in his bungalow at Spring View, where he died peacefully, after a period of ill health, on the 17th of December 2019. He was 94 years of age and in his 69th year of priesthood.

May the Lord welcome him home.


Veronica Murphy from the Archdiocesan Pastoral Formation Department has sent us the following feedback: “During the recent “Listening Exercise” that was carried out by a small group among Holy Family parishioners, a number of reasons for celebration were identified: Holy Family is a very welcoming parish community, encouraged by the good leadership provided through its ordained ministers, Father Tony and Deacon Mike. Parishioners receive excellent teaching through the homilies and there is appreciation of the effective preparation for the sacraments that is made available to all. Despite having undergone a downward turn in the past, there is evidence of a new cycle of regeneration within the parish. People appreciate the liturgy and feel there is a good music ministry.”


Be more involved in the celebration of the liturgy at Holy Family Church as an Altar Servers (male or female of any age – see Deacon Mike at Mass any Sunday) and as a member of the Choir (pop upstairs and see Cecilia Hughes any Sunday).

More singers would give a greater encouragement for everyone to join in the singing; more Altar Servers would enable us to use incense and candles-bearers occasionally at Mass.


The role of the Catechist is fast becoming a vital part of the life and ministry of our Archdiocese and our parish communities and we are truly grateful to those in our parishes who have undertaken to oversee and lead the various new initiatives which will help and support our parents to prepare their children to receive the Sacraments of Initiation and, in the very near future, to accompany those who will begin the journey leading them to Full Communion with the Catholic Church.

If any others would like to join our team of catechists in this exciting and developing ministry (maybe some of you who have been catechists in the past) please do contact either Mary Marsh.