News from around the Archdiocese of Liverpool



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Together with Billinge Parish Council, St Mary’s Social Club Committee financially supported the installation of a new defibrillator supplied by the Oliver King Foundation.  Given that Billinge is anything between a 30-50 minute drive from both Wigan and Whiston hospitals, access to a defibrillator in the parish is vital.


Mark King established the Oliver King Foundation following the tragic death of his 12-year-old son, Oliver, who died from Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome after suffering a cardiac arrest whilst taking part in a school swimming race.  Oliver tragically died within 24 minutes whilst waiting for the ambulance to arrive.


St Mary’s parish priest, Father Paul Harris said: ‘The untimely death of Oliver King is heart breaking, and clearly points out the importance of swift action, especially when we know just how busy and in demand our NHS is at present.  Whilst we all hope the need never arises, having a defib in Billinge is so important, and I’m exceptionally proud that our Club Committee made the decision to look into, and financially support, the installation.  


Mention must be made of John Moriarty, club secretary and parishioner, who has been the driving force behind this project.  I think the installation, together with other things we do in the parish, demonstrates to the wider community the practical goodness and love of God, which is so characteristic of our parishes.  Indeed, the words and actions of Pope Francis often remind us of the fact that being people of faith extends far beyond the doors of the church.’


15 volunteers from the parish attended the initial training session on how to use the defibrillator, which was delivered by Mark King on behalf of the foundation.  Another training session will soon take place to ensure that many in and around the community know how to use the equipment should the need arise.

New Community Defibrillator at St Mary’s

Having a defib in Billinge is so important



(Left to right) Parish Priest, Father Paul Harris SDS; St Helens Mayoress, Cllr Sue Murphy; John Moriarty, club secretary; Wayne Leatherbarrow, club chairman