He was loved from California to Rainhill

Fr Tony Bullen
Fr Tony Bullen

A MUCH-loved parish priest from Rainhill has died aged 88.

Fr Anthony Francis Bullen spent 10 years at St Bartholomew’s Church between 1983 and 1993.

His energy and vision made him a popular figure in the village, and he worked tirelessly in the community.

During his time in Rainhill, Fr Bullen led a number of major celebrations, including the rededication of the church for its 150th anniversary.

Before arriving at St Bart’s, he’d enjoyed a varied and interesting career, spending several years working in California.

He was born in 1924 in Aughton, Lancashire, and studied for priesthood at Ushaw College, Durham,

He served in Woolton and at a Catholic Missionary Society in London before serving as secretary to Archbishop John Carmel Heenan in Liverpool.

In 1965 he was appointed as Chaplain to St Vincent’s School for the Blind, Director of Schools and Director of the Archdiocesan Catechetical Centre, charged with implementing the teaching the Second Vatican Council.

His work with the group was recognised in the Catholic Herald, which reported in 1967: ‘Wherever Father Bullen or his colleagues go, they draw record attendances.”’

A profilic writer, he published numerous religious tomes, and later in life suffered ill-health leading to stint of recuperation in California, which led to a spell as an assistant parish priest in the Golden State.

He retired in 1993 to live at his family home in Aughton.

His body was received at St Bartholomew’s on Sunday and his funeral Mass celebrated by the Right Reverend Vincent Malone, former Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool on Monday (July 16).