Fr John was our well beloved chaplain from 2001 – 2015, when following a fall with severe injuries and complications, he returned to his community Mount St Bernard Abbey in Leicestershire.
Fr John was born on 25th September 1927 in Nottingham. He entered Mount St Bernard Abbey in 1948. Made his Solemn Profession in 1953 having been given the name of Br Nicholas (he later changed his name back to his baptismal name), and in 1956 he was ordained a priest.
In 1981 while serving as a chaplain at Holy Cross Abbey, Stapehill, Dorset, he was appointed Superior Ad Nutum and soon after elected Abbot of Mount St Bernard 1982 – 2001. After a sabbatical Fr John returned to the sisters of Holy Cross Abbey now in Whitland Wales and enjoyed the quiet life of reading, lectio, celebrating Mass and the sacraments, teaching, and working in the woods removing the never ending bramble so the paths could be walked and the trees grow strong. His health was strong and his mind alert but he started to lose his balance and suffer falls, which he mostly survived with minor bumps and bruises. He moved into the infirmary from the chaplaincy to make life easier, then 14th March 2015 Fr John fell in the shower and fractured his humeral head and neck of femur requiring surgery. A week later he had a massive gastric bleed which nearly killed him but he pulled through and although he regained much of his health, and despite all the treatment and physio he never walked again. It was a sad day for us when he returned to Mount St Bernard Abbey; where the monks welcomed him back and took excellent care of him.
A few weeks ago Fr John seemed not so well and stayed in bed. On Tuesday 7th April the community gathered for the prayers of the dying and at 6am Wednesday 8th April he died in his sleep. May he rest in peace, join the heavenly throng and the Lord he loved and served.