FATHER Michael John Purbrick, the Catholic parish priest of Cowes for 26 years, has died at the age of 86.

He served the Diocese of Portsmouth for 62 years.

He was born in Abingdon on July 21, 1932.

Following formation at St Mary's College, Oscott, he was ordained to the Sacred Priesthood on the Feast of St. Patrick, on March 17, 1957.

Following curacies in Maidenhead and Woodley, he was appointed parish priest of Bishops Waltham in 1970, followed by Holbury and North Hinksey, before his final appointment to Cowes, St Thomas of Canterbury, where he remained until his retirement in December 2014, at the age of 82.

He was known as a much loved and respected priest.

His funeral mass will be held at St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Church, Cowes, presided over by the Bishop of Portsmouth, on Thursday, July 4, at 1pm.

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