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Rev Mgr Philip Holroyd RIP

16th October 2018

Rev Mgr Philip Holroyd RIP

Monsignor Philip Holroyd died in the early hours of Friday, 5th October 2018.  May he rest in peace.


We remember him, his family and all those who have been his parishioners and friends in our prayers during this time of sadness.


His Funeral Mass will take place at 12:00 Noon on Monday 15th October at Leeds Cathedral, Cookridge Street, Leeds LS2 8BE


Philip Holroyd was born in Bradford on 23rd October 1947. He was educated at St Bede’s Grammar School, Bradford and Ushaw College, Durham.  He studied for the priesthood at the English College in Rome, in the years immediately after the Second Vatican Council. He was ordained in the church at the Venerabile on 12th December 1971.


From 1972-74 Fr Holroyd was an assistant priest at St Joseph’s parish, in Handsworth, Sheffield. In 1974 he went to Oriel College, Oxford to study for a Masters in Philosophy.  In 1976 he returned to Rome to take on the role as Philosophy tutor, and in 1979 he became Vice-Rector of the English College. In 1982 he was appointed a Chaplain of Honour by Pope St John Paul II.


Mgr Holroyd returned to the Diocese in 1988 when Bishop Konstant appointed him as Parish Priest of SS Peter and Paul, Sandal.  In 1995 he moved to Leeds to become Parish Priest of St Urban’s in Headingley. It was to be a brief tenure as less than eighteen months later he became the first Director of the new Diocesan Pastoral and Conference Centre at Hinsley Hall.


In 2005 Mgr Holroyd became the Parish Priest of St Theresa’s at Cross Gates in East Leeds. In 2013 he was appointed to St Wilfrid’s, Ripon from where he retired owing to ill-health in the summer of 2018.


Mgr Holroyd’s legacy to the life of the Church, locally and further afield is a significant one and in large part a very tangible one. At the VEC he was responsible for the redevelopment of the Villa Palazzola on the shores of Lake Albano which underpinned its emergence as a thriving retreat, conference and pilgrim centre in recent years. In the Leeds Diocese he will be remembered for overseeing the construction of the new church at SS Peter and Paul, Sandal, completed in 1992, and for the establishment of Hinsley Hall. Along with the late Austin Smith, the first General Manager of Hinsley Hall, he translated Bishop Konstant’s vision for a new pastoral centre into a successful reality in the years that followed its opening in 1999.


In East Leeds Mgr Holroyd brought together three existing parishes – St Theresa’s, St Gregory’s and Corpus Christi – in an amalgamation that formed the new parish of Blessed John Henry Newman in 2010. Finally, at Ripon, until ill-health took its toll, he was heavily involved in leading a major project to restore and refurbish the Church of St Wilfrid, one of the finest 19th century Catholic churches in the country.


Mgr Holroyd was a priest of high intelligence and ability and both were placed at the service of the Diocese of Leeds for over forty-five years, at parish and diocesan level. He was, for example, Episcopal Vicar for Christian Formation from 1999 – 2004 and a valued member of the Diocesan Council for Education for many years. He had formidable organisational skills and his belief in collaboration and participation enabled the laity to play their full and active part in the parishes where he served. In that sense he was very much made in the mould of Vatican II. He always placed great trust in the People of God and with his passing the people of the Diocese of Leeds have lost a man of great talent and a very fine priest.


Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.