Fr. Denis Hall, 1941-2015
We mourn the loss of our dear friend, Fr. Denis Hall, who died on the morning of the 26th March 2015. Ordained fifty years ago on the 14th March 1965, Fr. Denis spent forty eight of those years serving as a priest in Newham.
He was baptised and confirmed in St. Mary’s Parish Hornchurch, and then went on to study to be a priest at Oscott College from 1959 – 1965. Aged 24, he was ordained a priest in Chadwell Heath by Bishop Bernard Patrick Wall.
He served as assistant priest, Saffron Walden from 1965-1967; Canning Town from 1967-1977. He then went on to be parish priest at Canning Town from 1977-1982, Leyton from 1982-1998; Manor Park from 1998-2007, Forest Gate from 2007-2012; and Upton Park from 2012.
During his 5 years in Forest Gate, he was a great friend to us here at St. Antony’s RC Primary School. He enjoyed taking part in our whole school Masses, using his homilies to explain God’s love for us, and the mystery of the Eucharist. It was common for Fr. Denis to talk to both staff and pupils about West Ham FC, of whom he was a lifelong supporter. He would talk about upcoming games, where they had room for improvement, where they had gained something, and analyse why they had won or lost. Pupils and staff felt comfortable talking to Fr. Denis, and would pick his brains about anything from sports, to politics, to food.
Fr. Denis enjoyed cooking very much, but especially enjoyed cooking Christmas dinner in the presbytery, and would speak of his world famous (but shop bought) three bird roast.
For many of us here at St. Antony’s, Fr. Denis took time out of his busy schedule to serve us. Whether it were to talk about our day, baptise us, provide us with our first confession, celebrate our First Holy Communion, confirm us, or help us say goodbye to our friends and loved ones, Fr. Denis Hall was always there for us.
Go rest in peace now Denis. May the Lord welcome you home, where there will be no more tears, no more sadness. May you sit at the table of His children in heaven, and find comfort in His eternal love and care.