Tony Blair attends Sedgefield funeral of Father John Caden

The Northern Echo: Tony and Cherie Blair arrive at St Edmund's Church in Sedgefield, County Durham, for the funeral of Father John Caden, the Blairs' family priest, with Tony Blair's former constituency agent John Burton, left Tony and Cherie Blair arrive at St Edmund's Church in Sedgefield, County Durham, for the funeral of Father John Caden, the Blairs' family priest, with Tony Blair's former constituency agent John Burton, left

TONY Blair and his wife Cherie today attended the funeral of Father John Caden, who served as Sedgefield's Roman Catholic priest for more than half a century.

The former Prime Minister struck up a friendship with Fr Caden while MP for Sedgefield. The priest baptised his four children as well as being Mr Blair's tennis doubles partner.

Fr Caden's funeral was held at noon at St Edmund's Church of England Church, his burial in Sedgefield Cemetery.

The 89-year-old, known as Jack, was also chairman of governors at Carmel College, in Darlington, for 25 years. 

On learning of his death, Mr Blair, said: "John Caden was a charismatic, lively, warm and great spirited priest and public servant. He was a constant presence in my life and always there for us with friendship and good advice."

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