Cardinal Hume, bishops from almost every diocese in the country, representatives of other Churches, people from the world of education, the judiciary and civic life, gathered in Liverpool Cathedral on Tuesday to pay a final and solemn tribute to Archbishop Beck at his Funeral Mass.
Delivering the panegyric, Bishop Harris. Auxiliary of Liverpool, said the presence of so many people representing so many traditions both civic and religious was in itself a convincing tribute to Archbishop Beck.
He said the Archbishop had been astounded at the popular acclaim when he celebrated his silver jubilee as a bishop, and surprised and delighted when he received an honorary degree.
"This shy, unselfish man will be quite overwhelmed to know that he is so loved — that people who have never even spoken to him know that they were in a saintly presence."
Archbishop Beck's body was received into the Cathedral Hall on Sunday by Bishop Joseph Gray, another Auxiliary of Liverpool. Throughout Sunday evening and Monday, a steady stream of mourners filed past the coffin to pay their last respects.
On Monday evening the people of Liverpool had an opprtunity to bid farewell to the Archbishop who had loved and served them so well, and hundreds packed into the Cathedral for a Requiem Mass celebrated by Archbishop Worlock.
There was no part of the country which had not benefited from Archbishop Beck's pastoral concern. said Archbishop Worlock. As a national figure he was so much to so many, had a wide variety of friends, a vast field of experience and would undoubtedly be portrayed as a "superman" by both historians and the Press.
"But just for tonight we are mourning one we all loved to call George Andrew: someone who for so long had been to all of you owArchbishop — a title which of late I have been privileged to share with but never take from him."
Illness developed in Archbishop Beck a reserve that in no way impaired his powers of friendship; personal suffering developed still further his concern for the sick and under privileged, while both cerebral and coronary thromboses had seemed to increase his serenity, said Archbishop Worlock.
Typically of a loving leader of the archdiocese, Archbishop Beck had directed that his estate should be divided between the Cathedral Building Fund and the Priests' Training Fund.
Archbishop Worlock said: "Tonight, on the eve of that day when his poor, worn-out body will be laid to rest, as the family of the archdiocese. we keep faith with him."