Christchurch diocese has mourned the loss of two of its priests, Msgr William (Bill) Middleton and Fr Bryan Parish.
Msgr Middleton passed away on October 12, while Fr Parish departed this life on October 6. They served the diocese for 58 years and 60 years respectively.
At the Requiem Mass for Msgr Middleton at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral on October 17, pro-cathedral administrator Fr Simon Eccleston said that he didn’t want to just look back at a life well-lived, but to also “look forward to that which is the destiny of the children of God”.
“The Requiem Mass is a powerful declaration that our human death is not the end of the matter,” he said.
“The drama and pain of human death really only makes sense in light of the suffering, death and Resurrection of Jesus, our saviour. Our Scriptures are infused with the promise of life that is to come in the Kingdom of heaven.”
Msgr Middleton was the parish priest of Christ the King Parish in Burnside before he retired to the Nazareth House. He started his priestly service at the cathedral parish, and was later assigned to Beckenham, Woolston, Sumner, St Albans, Ngahere on the West Coast and Hokitika parishes.
Meanwhile, Fr Parish was “a priest of the East” having served the parishes of St James, Aranui and St Mary’s, New Brighton. He retired on January 26, 2020.
Fr Parish was the parish priest when the original St Mary’s church was destroyed by the 2011 earthquake.
According to the Christchurch diocesan Facebook post, both priests were much loved by the parishioners they served.