In Memory of Fr Tom Herbst

It’s with great sadness that we announce the death of Fr Tom, who has been Catholic Chaplain at the University of Kent since September 2018. Retiring due to ill health at the beginning of this academic year, he was best known to Kent students who are in their second years and beyond.

Fr Tom was a kind and characterful priest and a member of the Order of Friars Minor. He was interested in various fields of Franciscan Studies, especially Franciscan Christology and the writings of Francis and Clare.

As well as being Catholic Chaplain for the University of Kent he had priestly duties in one or two other places in East Kent and had – until its closure in the summer of 2021 – been one of the tutors at Wonersh Seminary in Surrey. As well as caring for the Catholic community on campus, he enjoyed taking part in wider Chaplaincy activities including interfaith events and the Aylesford Priory weekend. Fr Tom died peacefully, surrounded by friends, on Tuesday  November.

May he rest in peace, and rise in glory!

Revd Dr Stephen Laird, Anglican Chaplain


Fr Tom’s funeral arrangements will be publicised later, and a Requiem Mass well also be held on campus.

If anyone would like to share their memories of Fr Tom, or is feeling upset, please contact Sister Anouska Robinson Biggin (regional Catholic Chaplaincy Coordinator)

Tel: 020 7960 2505 Mobile: 07846 417 989

Or Revd Dr Stephen Laird, Anglican Chaplain

The process of finding a replacement Catholic Chaplain began last month, after Fr Tom announced his retirement.