Clergy and Lay Ministers

Admin  Tue, Aug 3, 2010

Deacon John

Deacon John Crooks is a native of Saint Cecilia and All Saint's Parishes in Liverpool and received his early education with Austin Friars in Northumberland and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate at St Mary's College North Wales.

Following his A'level studies he initially qualified in Biological Science at Leeds and went into secondary teaching (11 to 18 years) first in Lancashire Division 16: Halewood, from there to Anfield, Liverpool then on to Wigan.

Whilst a student in Leeds he met his future wife, Ann who is also a teacher - a specialist in the area of Special Needs Education. They have two children, and three grandchildren.

Deacon John went onto further studies in Biochemistry then Computational Physics.

In the 1990 he was accepted by Archbishop Warlock for four years of training towards the Diaconate and was ordained in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King by Bishop John Rawsthorne on the 23rd June 1996. Further academic studies took him into the areas of Franciscan Studies and Spirituality. He is a professed Secular Franciscan having been attached to the Franciscan Order since the mid 1960's in both the Anglican Church and more recently the Catholic Church.

Deacon John's first appointment was at St. Patrick's Parish in Clinkham Wood St. Helens with Rev Bill Flynn his mentor and parish priest. In 2000 on the retirement of Fr Flynn the parish was clustered with St Peter and Paul's Parish in Haresfinch, St Helens with Rev Kevan O'Brien. Then in 2005, following a move to Formby after 28 years living in Billinge, he was appointed by Archbishop Kelly to Our Lady of Victories and Holy Family Parish with Rev David Gamble.

Deacon John had to take early retirement from teaching because of a total loss of hearing but in 2004 he received a cochlea implant ('bionic ear') which has proved to be wonderful. However, as good as the cochlea implant is, it can never replace natural hearing and to 'fill in some of gaps' he has had, since 2005, the services of a Hearing Dog for Deaf People by the name of Penny. His outside interests include Reading, Spirituality, Letterpress Printing, Software Development, Calligraphy and Decorated Lettering, Photography - both film and digital, and home based DIY.

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