Fr David Gamble Deacon John

Fr David Gamble, Parish Priest of Our Lady of Victories Roman Catholic Church Hightown.

I was born 12 October 1963, to Alex and May Gamble. I have one sister who sadly died in 2004 aged just 54. My early days were spent in St. Joseph's Parish Grosvenor Street, but due to redevelopment and the Kingsway Tunnel, we were moved up tp Fazakerely in 1968, where my parents still live.
My early education was at Holy Name and then I moved to Campion School from 1975 - 1982.
After an unsuccessful attempt at A Levels I went to Central Liverpool College of Further Education to try my hand at more A levels. It was during this year I felt being drawn to the idea of Priesthood.
In 1983 I worked for the health & Safety Executive in Bootle as it moved up north from London. Within 3 weeks of being there I felt more and more that I wanted to study for the priesthood.
I left there in August 1984 and in September I went to the St. Cuthbert's Seminary in Durham. I spent 6 years there and was ordained priest by Archbishop Worlock at Holy Name, Fazakerely on 21st July 1990.
 
My first appointment in the diocese was at St. Joseph's, Leigh, but this only lasted 13 months, and I was moved to SS. Peter & Paul, Crosby in 1991.
I was there for over 6 years and in that time discovered a taste for military chaplaincy.
In 1993 I was asked to become the Chaplain to the Merseyside Army Cadet Force, which I accepted. In 1998 I was asked to consider joining the Royal Army Chaplain's Department but this did not work out and after 8 months I returned to the Diocese and was appointed as the Parish Priest of Holy Trinity Parish in Garston.
Due to the shortage of priests, I was also asked to take responsibility of Saint Francis of Assisi, which I did and was Parish Priest of both parishes until February of this year when I moved here to Our Lady of Victories.
 
In my spare time I like to "dabble" on the computer, and when I can play golf . I also love travelling and love to go skiing in the winter.

Deacon John Crooks is a native of Saint Cecilia and All Saint's Parishes in Liverpool and received his early education with Austin Friars in Northumberland and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate at St Mary's College North Wales.

Following his A'level studies he initially qualified in Biological Science at Leeds and went into secondary teaching (11 to 18 years) first in Lancashire Division 16: Halewood, from there to Anfield, Liverpool then on to Wigan. Whilst a student in Leeds he met his future wife, Ann who is also a teacher - a specialist in the area of Special Needs Education. They have two children, and three grandchildren. Deacon John went onto further studies in Biochemistry then Computational Physics. In the 1990 he was accepted by Archbishop Warlock for four years of training towards the Diaconate and was ordained in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King by Bishop John Rawsthorne on the 23rd June 1996. Further academic studies took him into the areas of Franciscan Studies and Spirituality. He is a professed Secular Franciscan having been attached to the Franciscan Order since the mid 1960's in both the Anglican Church and more recently the Catholic Church. Deacon John's first appointment was at St. Patrick's Parish in Clinkham Wood St. Helens with Rev Bill Flynn his mentor and parish priest. In 2000 on the retirement of Fr Flynn the parish was clustered with St Peter and Paul's Parish in Haresfinch, St Helens with Rev Kevan O'Brien. Then in 2005, following a move to Formby after 28 years living in Billinge, he was appointed by Archbishop Kelly to Our Lady of Victories and Holy Family Parish with Rev David Gamble.

Deacon John had to take early retirement from teaching because of a total loss of hearing but in 2004 he received a cochlea implant ('bionic ear') which has proved to be wonderful. However, as good as the cochlea implant is, it can never replace natural hearing and to 'fill in some of gaps' he has had, since 2005, the services of a Hearing Dog for Deaf People by the name of Penny. His outside interests include Reading, Spirituality, Letterpress Printing, Software Development, Calligraphy and Decorated Lettering, Photography - both film and digital, and home based DIY.