In 1967 a group of silver jubilarians were discussing the meal which was to follow a special Mass to be celebrated at St. John the Baptist, Timperley. They realised that a golden jubilarian was also to be present, but for some reason presumed that he would not want to make a speech.
Their surmise was wrong and the jubilarian in question, Father Stone, was only too eager to speak. He probably surprised many of the priests who were present at his oratory. He delighted them with a story of a new puppy which had kept him awake and as a result he overslept. As he was the chaplain to the Sisters of the Poor in Birkenhead he tried to explain to the Superior what had happened. He gave his explanation and for about a week she refused to speak to him. On enquiring the cause he learnt that she thought he had said that he had overslept because he had been to the pub, mistaking this word for pup.
In the same speech he told us that he had been a Franciscan and among his duties had been one of going round the country making appeals for the Catholic Truth Society. When he came to the conclusion that he was more suited to the life of the pastoral clergy he applied to be incardinated in the Shrewsbury Diocese because it was the one that had exercised the greatest attraction for him.
He was born in Stockport on 16th July 1894. He was educated at St. Bernardine s College. Buckingham. He joined the Order of Friars Minor and was ordained on 29th June1917. He left the Order in 1930 when he became incardinated into the diocese.
After a number of years he became parish priest of St. Joseph's, Upton, where parishioners were still using the Convent Chapel. He realised that the time had come to build a parish church and was delighted when the Bishop allowed him to approach Adrian Gilbert Scott to be the architect. At the opening the latter admitted that the new church was the smallest he had ever built and likened it to a village maiden.
While at Upton Father Stone frequently received visits from a former mayor of Birkenhead who had time on his hands. He was beginning to find the visits a bit of a trial so he resorted to a strategem. On the next visit he explained that he had to see a parishioner and his visitor was quite welcome to accompany him. He took care to take him to the furthest part of the parish and was troubled no more.
He moved from Upton to Dukinfield but eventually asked the Bishop for an easier post and so he came to the Little Sisters as their chaplain. He continued to live in the house near the convent when he retired and then when the decision to close the Birkenhead foundation was made went with the Sisters to their convent in Liverpool.
They nursed him with great devotion in his last illness. He had grown so old that he felt the loss of contemporaries. He was an exemplary priest, noted for his punctuality, attention to duty, a spruce appearance and impeccable manners.