Tributes were paid to a much-loved parish priest at his funeral in a packed church in Hove today (Friday 26 January).
Family, friends, fellow priests and parishioners filled St George’s Church, in Court Farm Road, for the funeral of Father David Weston.
The requiem mass was conducted by the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton Richard Moth and included a homily from Monsignor John Hull.
Father David, 77, reached out beyond his Catholic roots to people of all faiths and denominations and none.
One of the readings was by Father Daniel Smith, rector of St Peter’s, West Blatchington, the neighbouring Anglican church.
David Weston was born in Brighton in 1936 and lived in the parish of St Mary Magdalen where he served as an altar boy throughout his boyhood.
He went to St Mary Magdalen’s Primary School from 1941 to 1945 and to the Xaverian College, in Queen’s Park, from 1945 to 1953.
He then attended Brighton College of Art from 1953 to 1957 and was awarded the NDD (National Diploma in Design). He continued to paint throughout his life.
Father David trained for the priesthood, firstly at Osterley and then at St John’s Seminary, Wonersh.
He was ordained in 1964 at St Mary Magdalen. After serving in parishes in Leatherhead and Caterham, he became the parish priest of St George’s in 1979.
He spent 34 years there, living opposite the church, and retired in 2013.
The congregation were told: “He had a great love and knowledge of the Holy Land and led over 40 pilgrimages there and did much to support charities there.
“He did much work for the local Churches Together and for young people.
“Father David loved a party and always entertained most generously. His last celebration was on the occasion of his golden jubilee in 2014 – yet another wonderful parish party.”
Among those represented at the funeral were the 176 Hove (Squadron) Air Training Corps where he served as padre – or chaplain – for many years.
He spend his last days at Conifer Lodge, in Pembroke Crescent, Hove, and later at Carlton House, in St Aubyns, Hove.
He died peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday 10 January.
He was buried in Hove Cemetery.