Parish of St Wilfrid, Widnes

Clergy Team

The parish is served by a team of four priests  with diverse skills, talents, and life experiences who work together very closely. They also work closely with different groups of lay people so that together the parish can be a vibrant sign of Christ’s presence in the world.


Fr Mark Moran

My name is Fr. Mark Moran. I was born in Fazakerley in 1972, the youngest of 5 children to Joan and Billy Moran. I was educated in Holy Name School and then Archbishop Beck Catholic High School in Aintree. At the age of 19, I entered St. Cuthbert’s Seminary at Ushaw and was ordained in 1997 by Archbishop Patrick Kelly at my home parish, Holy Name.

During my priesthood I have served as hospital chaplain, school chaplain and I was Parish Priest of St. Margaret Mary’s in Liverpool for 14 years. In all my appointments I have been very happy and blessed by the honour of being involved in people’s lives and sharing their story.

I spend free time with my family and my friends; just being with them energises me and keeps me focussed! I enjoy holidays to hot places, but I am not a natural explorer, a pool, a cool drink and I am happy!

The joy of being a priest has always been present and as I continue to journey into priesthood, I pray that I may never lose that gift of joy, of friendship, of kindness and fun.


Fr Thomas Clarke 

I was born on Ss Peter and Paul's day 1994 and baptised at St Charles Borromeo Church in Liverpool, where I served Mass from the age of seven until I departed for seminary aged eighteen. I attended Carleton House and St Edward's College, in which I received a robust, Catholic education. Surrounded by so many inspiring examples, I spent my teenage years, grappling with the call to priestly service that I had been discerning from the very start. 

After seven years of seminary formation, both in Spain and the UK, I was ordained a priest of the archdiocese in July 2019. I have since been priviledged to serve in prison and hospital chaplaincy, high school and air cadet chaplaincy and latterly find myself training for service as a canon lawyer. But undeniably, what I enjoy the most, is the daily joy of parish life.

My interests include, history, foreign languages, theology, international cuisine and music. I am also partial to the occasional gin and tonic!


Fr Bill Murphy

I was born William Arthur Murphy on 2nd October 1943 in Edgebaston, Birmingham and educated by the Sisters of Mercy and the Irish Christian Brothers in Dublin.

Priestly formation:

The Jesuit college for late vocations in Osterley Middlesex, The Pontifical Seminary in Lisbon Portugal and St Joseph's Seminary Upholland.                                    

I was ordained on 10th May 1975 at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King Liverpool, following this I have served in the following parishes:- 

St Teresa's Clock Face St Helens - Assistant    

Metropolitan Cathedral - Assistant      

St Paul's West Derby - Assistant                    

Bolivia South America with L.A.M.P. - 6 years              

St Cuthbert's Wigan – Parish Priest                                

Bolivia South America with L.A.M.P - 9 years                          

Amalgamation of Our Lady of the Assumption/ St Cyril's /St Gregory's/Pascal Baylon as Parish Priest     

Blessed Sacrament Aintree – Parish Priest (from where I retired as a Parish Priest)

Now working as assistant priest with Team ministry at St Wilfrid's Widnes.    



Bishop John Rawsthorne - Emeritus Bishop of Hallam

I was born in Crosby, Liverpool on 12 November 1936 the eldest son of Harold and Miriam Rawsthorne with two brothers, and three sisters.  After attending St. Joseph's College in Upholland, I was ordained to the priesthood on 16 June 1962.

Until 1965, I studied natural sciences, and was then assigned to pastoral work in West Derby, Croxteth, Childwall, and Liverpool

On 9 November 1981, I was appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Liverpool and titular bishop of Rotdon by Pope John Paul II. 

I was installed as bishop of Hallam in St Marie's Cathedral on 3 July 1997 - the second bishop of the diocese, where I remained until retirement in July 2014, following this I moved to Widnes.

I Chair the Bishops' Committee for the Pastoral Care of Deaf People and was formerly Chair of CAFOD – the Church’s official Aid and Development agency. I am also an active member of the Catholic Bishop' Conference of England and Wales.

I am a keen walker.



Deacon Paul Rooney

I was born in Liverpool and married Jane in 1996. We have one daughter called Niamh and a son, Caolan. Jane and Caolan serve in our parish in various roles. I was ordained to the permanent diaconate in 2019 after four years of formation.

The permanent diaconate is a ministry in today’s Church that is far reaching. Working under the Archbishop and alongside our parish priest, I serve the Church through the threefold ministry of the Word, Altar and Charity. This is expressed not only by assisting at Holy Mass but also through the celebration of baptism and marriage, leading funeral services, by preaching and by helping the most vulnerable members of the community.

As well as serving in our parish, I am the Assistant Director for the permanent diaconate for the Archdiocese and Liverpool, Vice Chair of Northern Diaconal Formation Partnership, a  member of the National Executive for the Permanent Diaconate in England and Wales, Chair of the Archdiocese of Liverpool Council of Deacons, a member of the Management Committee of Animate which is the Liverpool Archdiocese Youth Ministry initiative, a  member of the Archdiocesan Commission for Dialogue and Unity and a member of the Archdiocesan Justice and Peace Commission Environment Subgroup. I also serve as the Archbishop's Trustee and Board Member of Nugent and I am a trustee and patrol leader for St Helens Street Pastors.

I combine my diaconal ministry with work at Liverpool Hope University as a senior academic in environmental geography specialising in coastal dune ecology and geomorphology. Uniquely in European higher education, the university has an ecumenical tradition. As a scientist and deacon, I am a member of the Society of Catholic Scientists and the ecumenical Society of Ordained Scientists. I am a keen gardener and supporter of Liverpool FC.






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