Solemn Requiem Mass was celebrated on Monday morning last in the church of St. Mary, Highfield Street, Liverpool, for the late Very Rev. Abbot George Bede Cox, rector of the church for 44 years. The death of Abbot Cox occurred on Friday of last week at St. Mary's Priory. In his 85th year the Abbot had been in failing health for some time.
The Requiem was celebrated by the Very Rev. Dom P. Turner, O.S.B., Prior of Downside Abbey, Bath.
A lament was played by the pipers from St. Mary's Church as the coffin was borne from the church. Many hundreds of people followed the cortege which was accom panied by members of the Catholic Young Men's Society to the dockside entrance of the Queensway Tunnel. The body was taken by road to Downside Abbey, Bath, where the interment took place on Tuesday. Some two hundred parishioners, including Boy Scouts, travelled by motor coach io Downside Abbey on Monday night for the requiem. which was celebrated by the Rt. Rev. Abbot Kelly (President of the English Congregation) prior to the interment in the abbey grounds.
Very touching scenes were witnessed at the funeral service at the late Abbot's
church, hundreds of parishioners crowding into the church, many of them in tears. The surrounding streets were lined with thousands of people, including the children from St. Mary's Schools.
Abbot (ox was a native of Merseyside, his father being the late Henry Hill Cox, a convert. His elder brother is the Rt. Rev. Charles Cox, titular bishop of Dioclea.
The late Abbot was educated at St. Michael's Priory and Downside College, he entered the novitiate of the Benedictine Order and was ordained at Downside Abbey by Bishop Medley in 1880.
His book on Matriculation English was extensively circulated in schools. He spent some time on the teaching staff of Woburn Park College, Surrey. Following a term as curate at St, Joseph's, Swansea. he came to Liverpool in 1894 and succeeded Fr. Snow as rector of St. Mary's. During his forty-tour years of rectorship he founded many' parish organisations for the spiritual betterment of his working-class people.
In 1926 he was responsible for the erection of a tower over the east portion of the church to hold a peal of eight hells.
The tower and bells, which cost £2,600. were dedicated a memorial to the men of the parish who gave their lives in the Great War. He was intensely interested in the welfare of young men and youths.
He was a great music lover and a fine organist. To commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of his rectorship of St. Mary's he was given a cheque for five hundred guineas and silver plate to the value of seventy pounds. Celebrations in honour of the jubilee of his priesthood were postponed from 1930 to 1931 owing to an illness. On his recovery, however, he made a tour of the parish in an open carriage, passing through wonderfully decorated streets. To mark this occasion he was presented with a cheque for £845 and an illuminated address. In 1934 he was elected by the Downside Conventual Chapter of the Benedictine Order as Abbot of Glastonbury. Beloved of his people and renowned as a minister among the poor he will be ever remembered.