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Hundreds attend service for Father John Caden
HUNDREDS of mourners attended a special mass tonight to pay their respects to a much-loved priest.
A Mass of Requiem for the Repose of Father John Caden was held at St John Fisher Roman Catholic Church in Sedgefield on the eve of his funeral at St Edmund’s Church on the town green.
Fr Caden, known as Jack, served the parish for more than 50 years and was well known and loved within the community.
The service was so well attended that loud speakers were placed outside for those who could not get into the church.
Father David Coxon, Dean of St Cuthbert's Deanery, said: "It is lovely to see such a big crowd, which I expected of course. It is a particular pleasure to welcome members of Father Caden's family."
After the playing of hymns, Father Jim O'Keefe retold humorous tales involving Father Caden to laughter from those gathered.
"Jack drew no distinction between human life and spiritual life," he said. "He was committed to the fullness of life, to people's happiness and well-being and he immersed himself in all sorts of things to bring that about."
Following his death at Sedgefield Community Hospital on Friday, February 22, tributes have flooded in for the 89-year-old.
Former prime minister and Sedgefield MP Tony Blair, who struck up a close friendship with Fr Caden, was among those to pay tribute.
Speaking from Jerusalem immediately after Fr Caden’s death, Mr Blair said: “He was a constant presence in my life baptising all four of our children and was always there for us with friendship and good advice.”
Fr Caden’s funeral takes place at noon. He will be buried in Sedgefield Cemetery beside his mother, as was his request.