born on January 23, 1914. He died on October 18, 2005, aged 91.
John Murphy was born in Cashel, County Tipperary, Ireland. He had five brothers and one sister. Two of his brothers were also to become priests.
He was educated at SS Peter and Paul’s, Enfield. He then attended St Ignatius’, Stamford Hill, before going to the seminary at St Edmund’s, Ware.
He was ordained to the priesthood on March 31, 1940, in Westminster Cathedral, by Cardinal Griffin.
Over the next 40 years, he worked across the diocese, in Limehouse, Commercial Road, Kingsland, Poplar, Swiss Cottage, Stonebridge and Neasden. Cardinal Basil Hume dubbed Fr Murphy “John the Builder” because he had built two churches, two presbyteries and two parish clubs in Stonebridge and Neasden, and Our Lady of Lourdes school in Stonebridge. The existing church in Stonebridge had been bombed in September 1940, and as a result the local pub, The Stonebridge Park Hotel, had been a temporary venue. Shortly after his arrival in Stonebridge Fr Murphy embarked upon a major fund-raising project. Remarkably, he had completed the payments due for Stonebridge by 1973 and the church was consecrated that same year by Cardinal Heenan. Fr Murphy then set about fund-raising to build the church and house in Neasden which was completed in 1981. Fr Murphy was a great man who loved his people and they, in turn, loved him. He was able to engage and commit the parishioners to participate in any project that lay before them and the fact that they were willing to participate so wholeheartedly shows just what a tremendous regard they had for him.
To relax he enjoyed a game of golf. Even after his retirement in the early 1990s, when Bishop Philip Harvey had arranged for him to become chaplain to the Franciscan Sisters in Littlehampton, he still enjoyed a regular game. He was always grateful to Bishop Harvey for organising his move to Littlehampton and when the time came for him to go to Nazareth House, Hammersmith, five or six years ago, he eventually settled down and was very happy there.