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									Fr Anthony Storey

For those fortunate enough to have known him, Father Anthony Storey, who has died aged 88, will
always be remembered as a uniquely inspiring and gifted individual. Born at Warter Priory, near
Pocklington, where his father was estate manager to Lord Nunburnholme, he was educated by the
Jesuits at Stonyhurst College in Lancashire and went from there to study theology at the Gregorian
University in Rome. In 1940 Hitler was visiting the city to confirm an alliance with Mussolini and English
students had to make a hasty exit in order to avoid internment. Before they left, however, Anthony
showed some of that independence of mind which authority normally frowns upon when he and a friend
made a nocturnal tour of the Eternal City tearing down posters welcoming the Führer. Whether this
action came to the attention of his superiors is not known, but he continued his theological studies in
England and was duly ordained priest at Stonyhurst in 1943. He was then sent to Cambridge to take a
degree in History; here his studies exposed him to Marxist theories that challenged the hierarchical
model of society he had assimilated and taken for granted at Lord Nunburnholme’s feudal fiefdom.

        After Cambridge, his pastoral experience as a curate at Middlesbrough’s Grovehill Estate, as
director of the Adoption and Child Welfare Society in that diocese, and then as curate in Hull’s inner-city
parish of St Charles developed his social awareness and that active compassion for the victims of
poverty and injustice that he would display in so many ways for the rest of his life. The intellectual and
scholarly bent of his many-sided nature found much satisfaction during his ten years as chaplain to the
University of Hull and as part-time teacher of history and religion at St Mary’s College. Later he became
sixth-form chaplain at the College. Father Storey had a natural empathy with the young, a willingness to
listen to their troubles, and an infectious enthusiasm in all his undertakings that won him countless life-
long friends among his students. The University duly honoured him for his work with an honorary
degree, while at St Mary’s the building which houses the Sixth Form and the History Department has
been named in his honour ‘The Storey Centre’.

        After Hull, he was appointed parish priest successively at Stokesley, Richmond, and Bedale,
doubling up in these years as chaplain to the RAF at Catterick and Leeming. He then returned in 1981 to
the Hull area as parish priest at the Church of the Holy Cross in Cottingham, where he would remain
until his retirement in 1996. Here his congregation soon doubled, due in no small measure to his
spiritual intensity and the remarkable variety and richness of his eloquent sermons. His great
humanitarian instincts found expression in these years in his role as the driving force in a local Amnesty
group whose members were both Catholic and Protestant, theist and atheist, and as founder of the
charitable Freetown Project for Sierra Leone. He thought this latter project would last about three years,
but in fact it is now twenty years old and has provided a parish in that war-torn and desperately poor
country with a church, a pre-school centre, a primary school, a vocational school, a bakery, and a
clinic with a generator. His compassion was widely known among the poor and the unfortunate in Hull,
where destitute refugees from many countries often found their way to the door of his little retirement
house in Goddard’s Avenue.

        A tall rangy man with a powerful physique, Anthony was both a natural athlete and a great lover
of nature and the outdoors. He captained his college’s rugby team at Cambridge (turned down the offer
of a trial for Yorkshire) and was a keen mountaineer (reached 15,000 feet on Mount Kenya, conquered
Mt Mormolada in the Dolomites). He became a lively member of the Woodland Trust, tirelessly planting
trees in every appropriate spot in North Yorkshire. Despite failing eyesight, he retained his strength of
body, vigour of mind, and extraordinary range of interests until the last year of his long life. He was
great company, a great human being, a credit to the priesthood. His death leaves a void in the lives of
his many, many friends.

Tom McAlindon.

Father Anthony Storey, born in Warter Priory near Pocklington, in 1919; ordained priest in 1943; died in
Castle Hill Hospital, Cottingham, East Yorks, on 1 May 2007.

NB. Please do not make any changes to this obituary. If it is too long (784 words), or if there is
anything redundant, please phone or email me (01482 656495; t.e.mcalindon and I will
promptly return it reduced to the required length.

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