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Tributes to ‘much loved’ Romford priest who has died

PUBLISHED: 17:00 13 August 2020 | UPDATED: 19:31 13 August 2020

Father Tom Jordan, parish priest at St Edward's Church in Romford, has died. Picture courtesy of Mark Snowshall

Father Tom Jordan, parish priest at St Edward's Church in Romford, has died. Picture courtesy of Mark Snowshall

Mark Snowshall

Tributes have been paid to a “much loved” Romford priest who has died.

Father Tom Jordan spent 17 years as parish priest at the Catholic Church of St Edward the Confessor, in Park End Road, and the church announced his death last week.

He served as the Dean of South Essex before moving to Romford and was later Dean of Havering, as well as being elected chairman of the National Conference of Priests of England and Wales in 2004.

Fr Dominic Howarth, who had known Fr Tom for 25 years, described him as “unfailingly cheerful”.

He said: “He was always joyful, with an unchanging faith. Even when he was seriously ill, he was still focused on people’s pastoral needs, dictating emails about baptisms from his sick bed.”

Priesthood was not his first profession though. Fr Tom spent 10 years working as a chef in London hotels and at the BBC before the shooting of Pope John Paul II in 1981 inspired his change of direction.

He was also involved with St Peter’s Primary School, in Dorset Avenue, where he attended Advent, Easter and nativity events.

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Headteacher Jenny Waterfield said Fr Tom was a huge part of school life and will always be held in its heart.

She added: “Fr Tom was very much loved by everyone at St Peter’s – pupils, parents, staff and governors.

“We all felt the warmth and compassion he showed to each and every one of us.

“We all appreciated the genuine interest and care he showed when he visited our school.

“The children loved his visits and their small faces would light up as they saw him around the school, enjoying high-fiving him and being truly excited to see him.”

Thomas McMahon, the former Bishop of Brentwood who ordained Fr Tom in 1989, said: “He was a great pastoral priest and had huge empathy with people – in joy and in sadness.”

St Edward’s Church will be open from 6-9pm on Tuesday, August 18 for people to visit and pray in timed groups and the funeral service will be livestreamed on August 19.

People can also gather along Park End Road on the procession route at 12.30pm to pay their respects. For more information on the arrangements and for a link to the livestream, go to stedwards-romford.org.uk.


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