Having spent over a decade quietly working on the significant amount of research that has gone into its production, Fr Nicholas Hird, of our neighbouring Diocese of Leeds, has published the biographical sketches of over 220 men who served as priests of the Diocese. The men featured were mainly ordained between 1915 – 1939, although a few were ordained prior to this period but arrived in Leeds during these years.
The two-volume work is a must for any individual or group looking into their own parish history, and has been described as a “great time waster” by one reader who confessed to spending more time delving into it in one week than doing her household jobs! Like others, she found herself captivated by the life stories of the priests that she had known throughout her younger life, and those of whom her parents had spoken about.
This publication is built on a similar, earlier, work which Fr Nicholas produced in 2008, which covered the years from 1878, when the Diocese was founded, up to the outbreak of the Great War in 1914. The readers of this work will already appreciate what a fascinating insight it provided into the day-to-day life of the Diocese in its formative years. The new books feature some priests who lived long enough to see the dawn of the 21st century, whilst others were just in the Diocese briefly, such as the Belgian refugee clergy who fled the devastation of war and others who were sent on loan as their home dioceses had a surplus of priests! Whilst many of these men lived and died before 1980, ministering in the ‘old’ Diocese of Leeds which included the area that was to become the Diocese of Hallam, others saw the formation of the new Diocese and were its founding Fathers.
Volumes 3 and 4 of Our Fathers of Faith together comprise over 600 pages and are largely illustrated with images of the clergy, and are fully referenced for those wishing to develop their own research. Copies can be obtained directly from Fr Nicholas Hird by e-mailing him on firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephoning 01274 872984. The cost is £25 for the two volume package.