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Congregations of two East Lancashire churches gathered at the weekend to remember their parish priest, Father Terry Murnane, one year since he passed away.

Two beautiful baptismal bowls, designed by Lancashire glass engraver and designer Alexis Valentine to mark the anniversary, were dedicated at special services on Sunday morning at St Thomas’, Musbury and St James’, Haslingden by Rt Rev Philip North, the Bishop of Burnley.

After the services there was a joint parish lunch at St Thomas’ parish hall attended by Father Terry’s family, including his widow Cheryl and their children, Lucy and Jayden.

Also in attendance at the lunch were Bishop Philip; current parish priest, Father David Stephenson; the designer Alexis Valentine and scores of people from the churches of St Thomas and St James. 

Bishop Philip commented: “At the time of his death, I said that Father Terry had achieved more in a year than many would manage in a decade and brought evangelistic zeal and strategic direction to the parishes.

“It is a testament to the huge impact he had in a relatively short time as parish priest that the congregation has chosen to remember him in this way.”

“The designer, Alexis, did a marvellous job with the baptismal bowls and I am delighted members of Father Terry’s family, including Cheryl and their children, were able to attend.”

Father David added: “Remembering is such an important part of the Christian life and to remember someone as significant and as loved as Father Terry over this weekend has been very powerful.

“The baptismal bowls make a lasting, and beautiful, memorial to him. Alexis has done an amazing job of linking together the Christian symbols of baptism and resurrection with just a hint of Wales, Father Terry's homeland.

“These beautiful pieces of glass will always remind us of Father Terry but also of his deep faith and commitment to bring others to Jesus. I'm really looking forward to using them for baptisms in our churches.”


Ronnie Semley