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With sadness, we announce the death on 11th February of Deacon Steve Pickard at Watford Hospital.  

He was due to receive further chemotherapy there, for ongoing treatment of cancer, but was admitted with sepsis and died the following morning.  Fr Michael O’Boy, Parish Priest at St Alban and St Stephen, St Albans, where Steve ministered, was able to visit Steve and anoint him.  Steve’s wife Terry, his daughter Claire and Deacon Brendan Day also from St Albans, were present with Steve when he died.

Deacon Steve's mortal remains will be received by Fr Michael O'Boy into the church of St Alban & St Stephen, 14 Beaconsfield Road, St Albans, AL1 3RB, on Friday 1st March at 4.30pm. Deacon Steve’s Requiem Mass will be on Saturday 2nd March at 1pm.  Bishop Paul McAleenan will preside.

Our prayers are with his wife Terry and his family, including his daughters Claire and Kirsty, and grandson Josh. Our condolences are also extended to his family, friends, clergy and parishioners of St Alban and St Stephen, St Albans.

Grant, we pray, O merciful God,
a share in eternal happiness
to your servant and Deacon Steve,
on whom you bestowed the gift of ministering
in your Church.
May he rise up with your faithful servants
to everlasting glory.


Deacon Steve was born on 12th April 1945 at Witney in Oxfordshire.  His early years were spent in Golders Green and Barnet before the family came to settle in St Albans, Hertfordshire.  For a short period of time, he sang in the choir at St Alban’s Abbey. On leaving school he entered an engineering apprenticeship, becoming a structural engineer. His job took him around the country, and eventually he became a Senior Project Engineer with Hawker Siddeley. In his late twenties he changed career, following in his family’s footsteps and entering the world of general insurance, eventually becoming chairman of a small firm of insurance brokers.

In August 1967 Steven was married to Terry and they were blessed with two daughters, Claire and Kirsty, and in recent years Steve and Terry have become especially close to their grandson Josh.

Steve was received into the Catholic Church at the age of twenty and was interested in the Permanent Diaconate from his early forties. However, the diaconate in Westminster was still finding its way, and it would be nearly twenty years before an opportunity would arise, but by then, his age was against him, and he would not be considered. This decision was disappointing for Steve, and distressing for his parish of St Alban and St Stephen, in St Albans.  Steve had been actively involved in the parish for over thirty years and was well known and highly regarded.  Unknown to Steve, and without prompting from the parish clergy, the parishioners collected 400 signatures in a petition sent to Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor. The vox populi won the day, and Steve was ordained by Bishop George Stack on 27th June 2009 at St Albans.

Steve will be remembered as a family man, who in his retirement was able to dedicate many hours as deacon in the parish. A man of gentleness and loyalty, who continued to be cheerful even as he struggled with illness during the past couple of years. A loving father and grandfather, a colleague and friend who will be missed by many. Always open to God’s will.  

May the soul of Deacon Steve, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.