Chiswick Says Heartfelt Farewell to Two Very Special Fathers

Standing room only as parish says goodbye Fr Jim Curry and Fr Michael Daley

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Our Lady of Grace & St Edwards


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The church of Our Lady of Grace and St Edwards was packed to the rafters on Sunday for the final mass of Monsignor James Curry and his assistant priest Fr Michael Daley.

During an emotional sermon, the Monsignor, more commonly known as Fr Jim, told the congregation that his six years in Chiswick ‘had been the happiest of his life as a priest.’ The former private secretary of Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor, Fr Jim arrived in Chiswick in 2002. He will be taking up his new position of Parish priest at Our Lady of Victories in Kensington in September.

He said, “It is with a real mix of emotion that Fr. Michael and I make our goodbyes. Sadness at leaving such a wonderful parish community here in Chiswick; expectation of what awaits us in our new assignments, both in Borehamwood and in Kensington. But the overriding emotion is one of gratitude.

“Gratitude for having been able to serve in this parish. There are so many memories; people, events, the kindness and generosity of parishioners. The celebration of the sacraments, Baptism, First Holy Communion, Reconciliation, Confirmation and Matrimony. The music, the flowers.

“Over the years we have said goodbye to many parishioners and friends and given them over to God in the hope of the resurrection and of meeting them again in heaven.
“There is so much talent and generosity to be grateful for. As I have said before, these past six years have been among the happiest of my life as a priest and I believe that this is true for Fr. Michael also.

“It is never easy to say goodbye. One becomes attached to a place; to people. To have had some share in your lives is an immense blessing and privilege. From both of us - Fr. Michael and I, thank you, God bless you and please pray for us as we will for you.”

Fr Michael Daley has been promoted and will take up his new appointment as parish priest in Borehamwood. He joked, “I may be leaving the desparate housewives of Chiswick but I shall be parish priest of the Big Brother house and of the Eastenders set. Who knows I may even make a cameo appearance in the soap marrying Pat Butcher for the tenth time!”

The mass was followed by a reception in the Parish Centre on Dukes Avenue at which Fr Jim and Fr Michael were presented with original paintings of the church’s interior as well as financial tokens of the infinite gratitude for their contributions to the parish.

The new Parish Priest and his assistant will take up their appointments in Chiswick in September.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor will be retiring to Dukes Avenue in the near future.


July 24, 2008