Hundreds attend funeral of much-loved Hitchin priest Father Michael Lambert
PUBLISHED: 16:36 18 December 2018 | UPDATED: 16:37 18 December 2018
Around 700 people attended the funeral of Father Michael Lambert yesterday after he was tragically killed in Hitchin two weeks ago, aged 79.
The much-loved priest was involved in a collision with a white Citroën C3 in Nightingale Road on Wednesday, December 5, and later died at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital.
The service took place at the Catholic church of Our Lady Immaculate & St Andrew, where Father Michael had been the priest for 18 years prior to his retirement earlier this year.
Old friends, parishioners from other parishes he had served and members of the Hitchin church community gathered to remember him.
Father Andrew O’Dell spoke at the funeral, saying: “He was friends with everyone. He has been a good, faithful and guileless member of the Assumptionist order and with you we thank God for having given us our brother, Michael.”
Also in attendance were children from Hitchin’s Our Lady School, who paid tribute to him with a poem, and students from John Henry Newman School in Stevenage.
Father Michael had been a part of both school communities, serving as a governor.
Following the service, the former priest was laid to rest in Hitchin’s St John’s Cemetery, before people returned to the church to celebrate his life.
Father Michael played a key role in uniting churches across the town through his support for Churches Together in Hitchin.
The group’s secretary, John Richardson, spoke at the funeral about Father Michael’s work. He said: “He attended its council meetings, he shared in the gatherings of ministers and he took part in our united services. At one of these he became the first Catholic priest since the Reformation to preside at a Eucharist in St Mary’s Parish Church.
“He chaired Churches Together in 2007 and though his style of chairing was, shall we say, unusual, we had great meetings and got things done.
“A faithful Assumptionist, a fine priest, an excellent colleague and a good personal friend to my wife and myself. We will all miss him.
“As individuals and congregations, we give thanks for him, we rejoice that he is now at peace, and, faithful to his memory, we dedicate ourselves to the service of Christ in the church, in our beloved town and in the world.”