Friday 20 September 2013

Frank Erskine RIP

I was shocked and saddened to hear at lunchtime that Frank Erskine had died. I`d learnt recently that Frank had cancer. I last heard from him on Tuesday by email: Frank wrote to ask how the Brinkburn Mass had gone and again to hope all went well at Ryhope where it was my turn for the Missa Cantata on Wednesday. I`ve know Frank for as long as I`ve been celebrating the Tridentine Mass in the diocese which is since 1992. He was always supportive and, a keen photographer, he took many of the pictures of our Masses which appeared on Forest Murmurs. Our paths hadn`t crossed as much recently with me being out of the mainstream of the Extraordinary Form during my years in Forest Hall. For years Frank offered lifts to others with no transport to take them to Latin Masses. His dog, Pericles, often went with him and waited outside church. Frank was quiet but with a good sense of humour and kept up to date with developments regarding the Extraordinary Form. He was 65 years old.

His Requiem in the Extraordinary Form will be held at St Patrick`s, Ryhope on Tuesday 1st October at 9.30am and Fr Dickson will be the celebrant. Sympathy to his sister Bernadette and all the family. He will be missed. May he rest in peace.


  1. What very sad news. I have known Frank since the traditional Mass was restored in this diocese in 1980 at St Michael's, Esh Laude, near Durham. He became a regular member of the serving team.
    He told me last week that his main problem at the moment was swollen feet/legs and reduced mobility which made it almost impossible to walk his dog! He was expecting to start a second round of chemotherapy. He was indeed a 'taxi' for many people and would not think twice about travelling miles to help someone get to and from Mass.

    May he rest in peace.

  2. Great shock on returning from holiday. I totally agree with what Fr Brown & Leo have said. It was only a few weeks ago that Frank was diagnosed with cancer & Mass was celebrated for him by Fr Tully at St Joseph's, Gateshead on the Sunday. So soon after losing their mother, Bernadette must be devastated.

  3. Requiescat in Pace.
    A lovely man, sadly missed.

  4. I was very sorry to hear this news. During Fr Brown's first incarnation in Gateshead, Frank, Matthew Finnegan, and I were the "Back Row Boys" at the TLM. Now I am the only survivor of that little group.
    Frank was a gentle kind soul who was devoted to the TLM. And he remained a practising Catholic despite the difficulties thrown at him by the hierarchy of the Church.
    Frank Erskine RIP.

  5. Very sad to hear the news about Frank and pleased he is coming to Ryhope for his requiem.

    Always impressed by his smile and quiet confidence in life and his ability to just get on with everyday life with that smile.

    The type of guy, who, if he needed a new shovel, would just make one!

    Paul @ Ryhope

  6. Very sad news. I knew Frank from his connection with ham radio. Best 73's Frank RIP.
    Steve G4EKM

  7. Frank was my uncle he learnt me to walk and carried me when i wary muchs a baby. Loved him very much and its my turn to carry him into church.

  8. A noble, committed soul. May the Lord grant him eternal rest and reward his labours.

  9. What can I add to what has been said about Frank. He was a good man and I am pleased to have know him.

    Richard. S. Rainbow


Anonymous comments will not be published. Please give yourself some kind of name at least.