Tributes paid to Hitchin priest who served church community for 46 years

Father Christopher Burgess

Father Christopher Burgess - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to a priest who served a community for almost half a century.

Father Christopher Burgess, who had been a priest at Our Lady Immaculate and St Andrew Roman Catholic Church in Hitchin for the past 46 years, died on Sunday after a long illness.

The 86-year-old had also served as the chaplain at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage for 17 years, St Francis College in Letchworth GC and Our Lady Roman Catholic Primary School in Hitchin.

Father Michael Lambert, superior and parish priest at the Roman Catholic church, in Nightingale Road, said: “He was a wonderful colleague and in his last few years we encouraged him to become a vocation of presence. He was a people person and enjoyed being around children and adults. He will be greatly missed.”

Peter Robbins was a long-term friend of Fr Burgess and went to school with him in the 1940s at St Michael’s College in Hitchin.

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He said: “Fr Burgess was a very warm-hearted person and he loved going to London for a lunch organised every year with old school friends. He was also a football fanatic and an Arsenal supporter.

“He was a very wise man to go to in times of trouble. He was simply a very gentle and kind person and will be missed.”

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Fr Burgess is survived by three brothers and two sisters. He will be buried on March 18 at the St John’s Road Cemetery in Hitchin at 11am.

Masses will be held on March 16 and 17 at Our Lady Immaculate and St Andrew Roman Catholic Church.

For more information about the funeral services call 01462 459126.

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