St Helens priest who starred in TV show dies

Rev Sam Pratt, who trained as an actor before becoming a priest
Rev Sam Pratt, who trained as an actor before becoming a priest
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Tributes have been paid to a former actor turned priest who has passed away.

Rev Sam Pratt, pictured, trained as a performer with the Royal Academy in London and even had a role in the 1970s television series The Ruffians before becoming an ordained minister.

He was the vicar at St Aidan’s in Billinge for several years before his retirement. He died aged 75 after an illness.

A full church at St Matthew, Highfield gathered to say their farewells and to give thanks for a very special ministry and a very special man.

Rev Bob Pearson, who knew Rev Pratt, said: “Sam’s was a godly ministry which touched and blessed the lives of thousands of people both in hospital and in parish life.

“As Chaplain at the Royal Liverpool Infirmary he was a friend and minister to consultants, doctors, nurses and patients alike and was ever ready day or night to be used by Christ for any who needed him.

“In parish ministry he always had a ready smile, a wise word of advice and seemingly limitless time for any who needed him – there was always a queue of people waiting to chat to Sam.

“At St Matthews we have been blessed to have him among us as a one of our church family, if only for a few years, but he is already greatly missed and will be deeply mourned.

Rev Pratt was married with two sons and two daughters. His eldest son, Stephen, is also a vicar, while his other son was a captain in the Army.

John Bridge, former church warden at St Aidan’s with Rev Pratt, also paid tribute.

He said: “His wife Mary and his family were his life.

“He made baptisms into special events, making godparents repeat their vows if he thought they were doing it without feeling.

“He could hold congregations spellbound at any service.

“He was missed when he left us and on the times he came to help us out the services it was always enjoyed by us as much as he enjoyed visiting us.”