Bench rededicated in memory of late Felixstowe priest

Father John Barnes with altar server Tony Lazell at the ceremony held in memory of Father John McNally. 

Father John Barnes with altar server Tony Lazell at the ceremony held in memory of Father John McNally. - Credit: St Felix Roman Catholic Church

A bench has been restored and rededicated in memory of a popular Felixstowe priest who died while officiating at a funeral 15 years ago.

A ceremony was held in the front garden of St Felix Roman Catholic Church, in Gainsborough Road, on March 27 in honour of Father John McNally. 

Fr McNally collapsed while conducting a funeral service in March 2007. He died on March 14 at the age of 65.

Originally from Co Offaly in Ireland, Fr McNally started his working life in accountancy before joining the priesthood. He also served in Brandon and Cambridgeshire.

Fr McNally, 65, took up the post as parish priest for St Felix and sister church of St Cecilia's, Trimley St Mary, in 1993.

Father Barnes, who serves as the parish's priest, said: "He was a very popular parish priest. I did meet him and he was so funny and loved by all.

"Over the past 14 or 15 years the bench had begun a little bit dilapidated. One of the altar servers who has been here since he was a boy took it away and wonderfully restored it, it looks brand new." 

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A bench was placed in the garden in his honour following his death but had become "a little bit dilapidated". 

Altar server Tony Lazell was key to the bench's refurbishment and after its restoration, Fr John Barnes rededicated the bench in Fr McNally's memory.