The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

Rev Fr John Gott RIP

It is with great sadness that we announce that Rev Fr John Gott died peacefully on Monday 28 March in Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.

Please pray for the repose of Fr Gott’s soul and remember his family and friends in your prayers at this time.

Details of the funeral arrangements

Fr John’s body will be received into the Church of the Good Shepherd, Royal Fold, New Road, Mytholmroyd, HX7 5EA at 7:00pm on Monday 11 April 2022 prior to the celebration of Holy Mass.

Bishop Marcus will celebrate Fr John’s Funeral Mass at 12:00noon on Tuesday 12 April at the same Church. Fr John will then be buried at Fulford Cemetery, York.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

Rev Fr John Gott

Fr John Graham Gott was born in Huddersfield on 9 June 1938. While still a young boy his family moved to Halifax where he was educated at St Mary’s Primary School before attending Ratcliffe College in Leicestershire. After leaving school he was called up for National Service and joined the Royal Air Force. He subsequently studied for the priesthood at Ushaw College in County Durham and was ordained at St Anne’s Cathedral, Leeds on 12 June 1965.

Following his ordination Fr Gott was appointed as Assistant Priest in the parish of St Theresa, at Cross Gates in Leeds. The following year he moved across the city to St Anthony’s parish at Beeston. In 1973 he was appointed to St Austin’s, Wakefield where he was also chaplain to Wakefield Prison. He stayed in the city for two years before moving to the parish of St Paulinus, Dewsbury.

In 1979 Bishop Wheeler appointed Fr Gott as Parish Priest of St Thomas of Canterbury at Hebden Bridge, and so began an association with the Calder Valley that lasted for the rest of his life. For many years Fr Gott served not only Hebden Bridge but also the churches at Luddenden Foot (St Walburga’s) and Mytholmroyd (SS Peter & Paul). In 1990 a new church and parish centre was opened at Mytholmroyd dedicated to The Good Shepherd and Fr Gott moved into the adjoining presbytery. In due course the churches at Hebden Bridge and Luddenden Foot were closed and the Calder Valley parish was consolidated, with Church of The Good Shepherd as its heart.

On Boxing Day 2015 Fr Gott was in the kitchen of the presbytery at Mytholmroyd when the River Calder burst its banks and a wall of water crashed into the house and the church, with devastating effect. He had to be rescued from the property by the emergency services and move in with relatives as the presbytery was deemed to be uninhabitable. The church was closed for nine months. When the refurbishments were completed it re-opened on 24 September 2016 with a Mass celebrated by Bishop Marcus Stock.

Following his retirement later in 2016 Fr Gott continued to live in the Mytholmroyd area, latterly in residential care. During his final illness he was cared for at The Huddersfield Royal Infirmary where he died on 28 March 2022, aged eighty-three.

Above all, perhaps, Fr Gott will be remembered for his devotion to the Catholic community of the Calder Valley, which he served for almost forty years, delaying his retirement by three years until he was seventy-eight. After so many years, he was also much respected in the wider community of the Valley. The development of The Good Shepherd in Mytholmroyd is his legacy, and a living testament to his view of the Church as a place for worship, for community and for reaching out to the society of today.

May he rest in peace.