Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson pays tribute to "champion

Bill Esterson and Fr Jimmy Collins



Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson has paid tribute to popular parish priest Father Jimmy Collins, who sadly died last month.

Cannon Jimmy Collins, known as Father Jimmy, died at the age of 94 on April 19. He was just three months short of the 70 anniversary of his priestly ordination.

Fr Jimmy spent the last years of his life in retirement in Maghull, but he continued to dedicate himself to campaigning for social justice.

He met with local Labour MP Bill Esterson on a number of occasions to discuss campaigns close to the priest's heart.

Bill said he was saddened by Fr Jimmy's death.

Bill said: "Even though he was in poor health and obviously quite elderly, Fr Jimmy was still full of energy and he brought to my attention a number of issues which he wanted addressing in Parliament.

"He had a deep sense of social justice and was always concerned about other people. This was clearly evident from his work throughout his life, but particularly in Kirkby where he campaigned for local workers and even set up the town's first credit union.

"But he was known far and wide for his campaigning work and he was deeply respected."

Fr Jimmy was known as a champion for the poor and disenfranchised, and his door was always open to those who needed help.

Bill said: "Since retiring to Maghull some years ago, Fr Jimmy has been a regular sight on his many walks around the town and along the canal.

"He is a great loss to us all, but I am sure that his passion for social justice will live on as he was an inspiration to me and many others who met him."

Fr Jimmy's funeral Mass was held at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. Archbishop of Liverpool, the Most Rev Patrick Kelly, was joined by 82 other priests from around the country to celebrate his life.