We are delighted to congratulate Canon Denis Collin on his platinum jubilee: 70 committed years of faithful and loving service to us here in our diocese! Today, on the 14th of June, a special Mass has been said at St Mary’s Poole to celebrate and give thanks for his wonderful ministry and dedication. Below are a few words from Canon John Webb about Fr Denis and also from the much loved man himself.

Canon Denis Collin

Canon Denis Collin, born in Sligo in 1929 was Ordained for the diocese of Plymouth 0n 14 June, 1953 by Bishop Grimshaw (later Archbishop of Birmingham).

Fr. Denis served in many parishes across the diocese before retirement. I first met Fr. Denis at Wembley stadium in 1982 when we went to see Pope John Paul II. At the time Fr. Denis was parish priest of the Sacred Heart Church in Bideford, North Devon and I was in my first year of studies for the Priesthood at Campion House, Osterley.  I later spent a period as a student with Fr. Denis and in 1988 became his curate in 1988 at St. Peter’s Crownhill, Plymouth.

Whilst a very faithful Priest, Denis was always forward thinking and a great supporter of Vatican II. He was always supportive and encouraging to Priests who had left the ministry and today still keeps in regular contact with a number of them.

During his active ministry Fr. Denis was vocations Director for a number of years and later became editor of the Diocesan Year book.

Denis’ relaxation was running and has run several marathons including the London Marathon four times, on one occasion finishing  in under four hours. He’s also ran in the New York, Rotterdam, North Devon and Poole marathons.

Since arriving in Poole four and half years ago Fr. Denis has become a well known and loved figure in St. Mary’s parish. He regularly concelebrates at the 9.30 Mass on Sunday mornings and loves greeting the people after Mass. Although retired for many years now Denis still regularly attends the Dorset Deanery meetings and takes an active role in any discussions and loves sharing in the discussions over lunch and a glass of wine afterwards!!!!

By Canon John Webb, Parish Priest, St Mary’s Poole.

We had the honour and pleasure of speaking with Canon Denis and he had a few words to share:

‘It has been a true privilege to be a priest here in the diocese for 70 years! I would like to start by paying tribute to one particular priest called Fr Chappel. When I was a young man, myself and five other young altar servers were encouraged greatly by him to become priests. He was a great friend to us all and I am very thankful to him for supporting and inspiring me. I would also like you to share the picture of me standing with my mother on the day of my ordination in Plymouth, a very special day. I have spent 4 and a half very happy years here in Poole with Fr John and his crew! Thank you everyone for your gifts and cards. During my time in the diocese I have met some wonderful priests and people and I would like to offer my deepest thanks to all the people who have shown me so many kindnesses over the years. God bless you all.’

The photo’s featured are :

Fr. Denis and Fr. Chappel at St. Joseph’s Church

Fr. Denis made Honorary Canon at Plymouth Cathedral with Bishop Mark O’Toole

Fr. Denis with his mother at Plymouth Cathedral after his ordination.


Our love, gratitude and prayers are with Fr Denis on this special day! Warmest thanks also to Fr Denis for taking the time to talk to us and to Fr John Webb for his written tribute, as well as to Madge and the wonderful parish family at Poole for their kindness and assistance with photos and more!