When Father Paul Sartori passed away on 16th April 1980 at the tragically early age of 39, the shock was felt far beyond the Catholic community of Haverfordwest where he had ministered as a priest since 1966. He arrived from North Wales that year, serving as curate until 1977 when he became the parish priest. During his brief ministry he became much loved by all sections of the community on account of his kindness, compassion and concern for others. He saw the need for hospice care in Pembrokeshire and he was working towards that aim when he became ill with cancer and died three months before his fortieth birthday.  In his memory his parishioners together with a wide variety of other friends worked hard to bring his ideas to fruition.

On 18th July 1982 the Paul Sartori charity was officially formed and today the Paul Sartori Hospice at Home charity which supports people in their final stages of life, together with their loved ones, celebrates forty years.  To mark this important anniversary an exciting new oral history project Voices from the Community-Father Paul Sartori’s Journey from Priest to Hospice Care was officially launched at Paul Sartori House last week.

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the project aims to gather memories of Father Sartori, to understand his impact on individuals, the wider community and his inspiration in forming the charity which bears his name.  The bilingual project is keen to hear from people who knew Father Sartori and who will agree to be interviewed so that their memories are preserved. Volunteers from across the community will be recruited to help with the interviewing and collating of information. Full training will be given. The interviews, together with photographs, documents and other artefacts will be digitised and made accessible via The Peoples’ Collection Wales and the Pembrokeshire Archives.  There will also be a permanent multi-panel display produced at the end of the project which runs through to November 2023.

The Project Officer, Simon Hancock said “We look forward to reaching out across Pembrokeshire enabling people to play an essential role by sharing their stories of Father Sartori and by volunteering to a significant heritage story for a local charity.”

The project team can be contacted by email: simon@paulsartori.org or telephone: 07796973998.

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