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Canon William Roche
1921 - 2012
Canon Roche was born 8th October 1921 in Ballindangan, near Mitchelstown, Co. Cork. His parents were John and Alice Roche (Lee). His sisters were Peg (Sr Maria Calman) and Biddy.
Bill Roche attended Ballindangan School; Christian Brothers' School, Mitchelstown; St Colman's College, Fermoy; and St John's College, Waterford.
He was ordained at Mount Melleray Abbey by Bishop William Lee on 12th May 1946, and celebrated his first Mass at Ballindangan Parish Church the next day.
Canon Roche with his uncle William Lee, Sixth Bishop of Clifton (1931-1948)"
He served in
St Gerard's, Knowle, Bristol, 1946 - 1950 under Canon P. Barry.
St Alphege's, Bath, 1950 - 1952 under Monsignor James Kelly.
St George's, Warminster, 1952 - 1957 under Canon J. Renehan.
Christ the King, Knowle West, Bristol, 1957 - 1962 under Canon F. Rynn.
The Holy Family, Swindon, 1962 - 1987.
In 1985 he was made a Canon of Clifton Cathedral
St Alphege's, Bath, 1987 - 1997.
At the Consecration of St Alphege's, 1954. Fr Roche is fourth from the left.
On 12th May 1996 at St Alphege's Canon Roche celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his Ordination
With Bishop Mervyn Alexander
Father Roche takes the biscuit - at the Presbytery with Sister Brigid, who served the parish faithfully for 18 years.
He retired in 1997 to live in St John's Flats in Bath.
In 2006 he came back to St Alphege's to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of his Ordination. Present were some 40 clergy, and twenty neices and nephews who had travelled from Ireland to be with him on his great day.
On 25th April 2009 he celebrated at the Golden Wedding of Janet and Ray Ricketts, faithful parishioners of St Alphege's.
In 2010 he attended the ceremony of the laying of the foundation stone of the new Parish Hall,
conducted by Fr Richard Barton and Fr Michael English.
With advancing years, Fr Roche moved to St Angela's Home in Clifton. On 8th October 2011, in spite of rapidly failing health, he celebrated his 90th birthday in the company of fellow priests and friends.
In early 2012 Fr Roche moved back to his parish of St Alphege, at Cedar Park Care Centre
formerly St Catherine's Nursing Home, in Oldfield Road.
He died peacefully on Wednesday 22nd February aged 90.
His body was received at St Alphege following the 6pm Mass on Sunday 4th March.
The next day a great gathering of his fellow priests and parishioners packed his old church of St Alphege for his Requiem Mass to say farewell. His family went on with him to his burial at Haycombe Cemetery.
At Haycombe the following day, and in October 2012 with the new headstone.
May he rest in peace and rise in glory.
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