A PRIEST who served in Middlesbrough and Brotton, east Cleveland gave a blessing to his family from his hospital bed just before he died.

The Bishop of Middlesbrough will be the chief celebrant at the funeral of Father Michael Murray who also served the parish of Hessle near Hull and Market Weighton in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

He was ordained in 1975 and served as curate at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Hessle from 1975 to 1978 and St Francis in Acklam, Middlesbrough, from 1978 to 1984.

Until 1994 he was Parish Priest at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Market Weighton and then he served St Anthony’s, Brotton until 1997 when he retired to his home city of Carlisle, to live opposite his twin sister, Ann Marie Douglas.

She was amongst the family members he blessed from his Carlisle hospital bed before dying on March 10 aged 83-years-old.

The Vicar General of the Diocese of Middlesbrough, Very Reverend Monsignor Canon Gerard Robinson, said: “We give thanks for the courteous, humble and kind way Father Michael was a priest and give gratitude for the years that he served our diocese so faithfully.”

The Bishop of Middlesbrough, the Right Reverend Terence Patrick Drainey, will travel to Carlisle to be the chief celebrant at his funeral mass which will take place on Thursday, March 26 at 11.30am before a woodland cemetery burial.