Ordination of the Reverend Brian Murphy.

Fr Brian Murphy grew up in the parish St Mary's Eccles and then Ss Peter & Paul when the parish was first created.

Initially he studied with the Mill Hill Fathers at Freshfield, Formby, near Southport. He had intended to go to the foreign missions but while studying at the Mill Hill Seminary, St Joseph's College in Roosendaal, the Netherlands, towards the end of his studies, he realised that his true vocation was in the mission here at home in the Salford diocese. Before he could continue with his studies, he asked to take a year out and find work. He worked as an orderly at the Eccles and Patricroft Hospital, now the site of Cromwell House, Cromwell Road. He then continued his studies at the The Royal English College of St Alban in Valladolid in Spain.

Rev Brian Murphy was ordained into the priesthood on 29th June 1969 by Bishop Holland at a concelebrated mass. His brother, Joe Murphy, recalled the day when writing for the Ss Peter & Paul's Salford Fortieth Anniversary Magazine 1996

The day of the ordination was the culmination of months of planning, akin to the planning of a wedding. As for a wedding, friends wanted to know what Brian would like as a commemorative gift. Unlike wedding lists for newlyweds, a priest's list is somewhat limited. Who brought what, I have now forgotten. Our parents gave Brian his Chalice.

Brian was ordained by Bishop Holland on the 29th June 1969 (Ss Peter's and Paul's feast day) at three o'clock. I remember. The weather was bright and sunny, with a moderate breeze. The church filled with parishioners and friends. The procession from the presbytery of the Bishop, Brian and the other celebrants. Brian's nervousness. Brian lying prone on the altar steps. The procession of the local clergy and seminarian friends (some of whom were to be ordained in the following months) to receive his blessing and to congratulate him. The radiant look of joy on Brian's face when he turned to face the congregation and give his blessing. The altarboy, either bewildered or dreaming, being given a little shove to remind him to return the Mitre to the Bishop. Fr O'Keeffe quietly busy in the background. The blue-covered kneelers in a large arc on the grass, with row upon row of kneeling people waiting to receive Brian's blessing. Our parent's joy.

The family celebration went on into the evening. Brian's first Mass was at SS Peter and Pauls' next day. 

After his ordination, he began his ministry with a short stint as curate at the Church of Our Lady and the Lancashire Martyrs, Little Hulton, moving then to St Edmund's, Little Hulton where he served for nearly a decade, he then spent six years at St Anne's, Ancoats, and served his final curacy at Holy Saviour, Nelson.

In 1987, Fr Brian was appointed to succeed Mgr Egan VG as Parish Priest at St Mary's, Swinton where he would serve for nearly a quarter of a century. In 2011, he was a asked to return to the Pendle Valley and take over the parish of St John Southworth, Nelson where he remained until his retirement in 2019


  • Ss Peter & Paul parish log
  • Ss Peter & Paul's Salford Fortieth Anniversary Magazine 1996
  • Catholic Lancashire, Past and Present
  • Photos coutesy of the Murphy family

Parish History Group

If you would like to help research the history of the Parish or have any stories or photos then please get in touch. history@ourladyofhope.org.uk or speak to Paul Ashton, Stephanie McDonough or Pat Murray

We have some specific requests for information

  • Photos of our Assistant Priests/Curates
  • Photos and stories of the Charter Players
  • Photo
    • Fr J Leo McGinnell
    • James O'Garr  (1891-1979)
    • Billy Brady Sr
  • Servicemen of WWII (your parents/grandparents/great-grandparents ?)
  • Early photos of Ss Peter and Paul