kirkstall abbey

Our Parish Priest

Fr Pat

Rev Fr. Patrick Anthony Smythe

Fr Pat was born in Harrow on the Hill, Middlesex on 20th March 1943, the younger of two brothers. The family moved to Sheffield in 1947 and Fr Pat was educated by the Sisters of Mercy at Mylnhurst Convent Junior School and at De La Salle Grammar School before going to Ushaw College, Durham to study for the Priesthood. He was ordained by Bishop Gordon Wheeler for the Diocese of Leeds in his home parish of St William of York, Sheffield on 23rd May 1967.

Fr Pat was appointed as Assistant Priest to St Bernard’s Parish, Halifax and to the Chaplaincy of St Thomas More Secondary Modern School (which subsequently became the Halifax Catholic High School and is now called St Catherine’s). In 1970 he was transferred to St Mary’s Parish in Halifax where he was engaged in the establishment of a Deanery Catholic Youth Centre and continued as Chaplain to the High School.

In 1978 Fr Pat was appointed Leeds Diocesan Youth Director and also Chaplain to St Wilfrid’s Catholic High School, Featherstone. The Diocesan Youth Ministry involved him in the establishment of the Diocesan Residential Youth Centre at St Monica’s, Skipton where he led the Youth Retreats team between 1981-86 and acted as Chaplain to Holy Family Catholic High School in Keighley.

Bishop David Konstant appointed Fr Pat as Parish Priest to St Paulinus, Dewsbury in September 1986 where he celebrated his Silver Jubilee and served until September 1993 before moving to St Boniface, High Bentham. While ministering to this parish in the Yorkshire Dales Fr Pat undertook a Master’s Degree in Theology at Leeds University. During this time he became engaged in the international campaign for the liberation of East Timor making several visits to the territory both before and after the eventual achievement of Independence. He continued at the Department of Religious Studies at Leeds University until 2001 when he was awarded a Doctorate for his thesis on the role of the Catholic Church in the issue of East Timor. By this time he had been reappointed as Parish Priest to the community of St Mary’s, Rothwell where he served from September 1998 until August 2006 when Bishop Arthur Roche appointed him to Holy Name – in good time for the celebration of his Ruby Jubilee in May 2007!

On August 15th 2010 Fr Pat was entrusted with the pastoral care of the newly formed Parish of Our Lady of Kirkstall, comprising the former parishes of The Assumption of Our Lady (Spen Lane), Our Lady of Good Counsel (St Mary’s) Horsforth, and The Holy Name of Jesus (Cookridge). Fr Boniface Akpoigbe MSP was appointed as Assistant Priest in this ministry


Fr Phillip Hall

Assisting Fr Pat is Fr Phillip Hall.   
Fr Phillip Hall moved from the parish of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Huddersfield in the summer of 2016 to replace Fr Marc Homsey. He spent three years in Huddersfield in parish ministry as well as being a prison chaplain to a women’s prison, HMP New Hall.

Fr Phillip was ordained as a priest in 2013 at the tender age of 41 after spending what seemed to be most of his life in the seminary system after completing his studies in two separate stints. In between he worked for many years in the banking sector. He also obtained a B.A. (Hons.) in English & American Studies, M.A. English Literature, B.Th., PG Dip Th.

Fr Phillip has many interests when he’s not donning his collar. Hiking is one. He has played many sports in his life and is especially passionate about cricket. He is supporter of Huddersfield Town and he feels that he is on a mission of mercy whilst here in Leeds. He plays the guitar badly but keeps trying to improve. He is currently trying to learn French (Yorkshire French) for his role as being the pilgrim director for the Leeds pilgrimage to Lourdes which was thrown at him by the bishop - but gratefully caught!

He has in the past worked in different areas of youth ministry in the diocese and out. He is currently much interested in the theology of Hans Urs Von Balthasar, Henri Di Lubac and Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI). He is also trying to get his head around how to retain young people in our church.

When he has his feet up, Fr Phillip likes to read Bernard Cornwell currently for some good easy reading. He has an eclectic taste in music. He loves snooker and goes to the Crucible Theatre for the world championships in Sheffield. Sometimes Fr Phillip will grow a beard. He has two brothers, and he’s an uncle three times over.

Fr Phillip loves visiting people in their homes and has already been privileged to meet many people in the parish already. He likes two spoons of coffee and two sugars.


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