Tributes to a ‘well-loved’ church leader

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A highly influential member of Chorley’s Christian community has died at the age of 84.

Eric Jones was the Rector of the town from 1977 until 1991, and was also the canon of Blackburn Cathedral.

Friend Freema Taylor, who is the warden at St Paul’s church in Adlington, says Eric will be remembered for his wisdom and kindness.

“Eric was very well known in the area, and very well loved,” she said.

“He was a wonderful person, with a huge amount of knowledge and experience.

“He was so generous, and had an amazing sense of humour, with a fantastic ability to laugh at himself.”

Eric started as a vicar at St Laurence’s Church in Chorley, where he lived in a bungalow, before moving to St Paul’s when he retired from being Rector in 1991.

He was also a train enthusiast with a model railway, and was originally in the church army.

“He’s known in many circles around Chorley,” Freema said. “Including the Royal British Legion.

He had lots of friends in Adlington and everyone was happy to look out for him, inviting him round to their houses for meals and things like that.”

Eric, who was never married and had no children, was in charge of five churches during his time as Rector for Chorley.

Freema said: “Everytime the church was involved in something the town was doing, Eric would organise it. From walking days and events, to large funerals and the Mayor’s Chamberlain, when a new mayor was appointed.”

Eric spent his final days at the Beeches Care Home in Coppull, where he suffered from pneumonia.

“The staff there absolutely loved him,” Freema said. “He just made a connection with everyone.

“I think people will miss his unending support, his goodness, his concern for other people, and his humour.

“He had a laugh with people until the very end.”

She added: “He died peacefully. He knew where he was going, and he was quite happy to be going there.”

Eric’s funeral will take place at St Paul’s church in Adlington at 9.30am on May 11.

Call B.Livesey Funeral Directors on 01257 262602 for more details.