Tributes paid to Kenilworth priest

Father Eamon Clarke

Father Eamon Clarke

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A priest who lived in Kenilworth over the last ten years has died at the age of 81.

Father Eamon Clarke, who lived in the presbytery within the grounds of St Augustine during his retirement, died in Warwick Hospital on Saturday April 9.

His funeral Mass took place at Christ the King in Coventry, where Fr Clarke was priest from 1993 to 2005, on Wednesday April 20.

Although retired, he still conducted services at St Augustine and St Francis of Assisi churches until declining health in the last year of his life prevented him from doing so.

Speaking at the Mass, Fr Tom Farrell said: “It is often said that you always remember a good teacher and certainly Fr Eamon Clarke is remembered as an excellent teacher and preacher.

“Many have spoken of his excellent sermons and feeling that they were listening to a person who had many years of learning at his fingertips.

Fr Clarke's coffin being carried at his funeral

Fr Clarke's coffin being carried at his funeral

“Whenever you visited Eamon, you never had to worry about the conversation drying up or embarrassing silences.”

The Catholic Parish of Kenilworth said: “Father’s ministry touched many lives in parishes, in education and through many friendships and professional relationships.

“May he rest in peace and may his brother, Brian, and all family and friends know the Lord’s mercy and comfort.”

Fr Clarke was first ordained in 1960, and originally served the Holy Family Catholic Church in Coventry.

He was priest at Newman College’s chapel from 1969 to 1988, after two brief stints in the Catholic Missionary Society and Weoley Castle in Birmingham.

He moved to St Anthony’s in Oxford in 1988, and then Christ the King in Coventry in 1993.

Newman College paid tribute to his priesthood at its chapel: “Fr Eamon was the first Chaplain here at Newman and a good friend to many staff and students that worked and studied here.

“He played a key role in establishing our Chapel. We offer our prayers and condolences to all who mourn him.”