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24 January 2014

The Archdeacon of Pontefract writes:
IT IS a salutary experience, when reading the clerical obituaries and deaths column in the Church Times, to realise that one has either known or worked with those named: faithful parish priests who said their prayers, loved their people, and did their best. One such priest was the Revd Michael Hardy, who died on 5 January, aged 78.

In a varied ministry, which included time at USPG, where Desmond Tutu was a colleague, and later a challenging ministry in Stretford, Manchester, the golden thread that ran through his service was a deep desire to bring people together, whatever their colour, creed, or background, and to make ecumenism real.

Educated at Southend High School, Michael was a Keble man, and then one of Robert Runcie's students at Cuddesdon. Well read in both English and French, he wrote in a careful italic script, which was beautiful to look at, but latterly not always that easy to read.

Throughout his ministry, he was incredibly well supported by his wife, Catherine, whom he met during his curacy in Birmingham, and who had her own valued ministry as a midwife and counsellor; and by their five children.

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