Vicar’s 50 years of service

Leslie Greenwood
Leslie Greenwood

A vicar whose life has touched thousands of Calderdale folk is celebrating 50 years in the priesthood.

Leslie Greenwood, 75, of Greetland, has for the last seven years been helping out at St Paul’s Church, Halifax.

He was born in Todmorden, studied at Durham University, and was a curate at Birstall.

From 1964 to 1990 he was the chaplain at Holy Trinity Senior School, Halifax,

He was also a curate at St Mary’s Church, Illingworth and from 1970 to 1991 Vicar of St Thomas’s Church, Claremount. From 1991 to 1997 he was part of a team ministry at Holmfirth.

Since then he has been helping out in parishes which oppose the ordination of women.

“Some years ago the PCC at St Paul’s adopted a resolution which said `no women priests.` I belive the Church of England is part of the whole Catholic Church and we have always had bishops, priests and deacons just like Roman Catholics and Orthodox Churches. The Church of England has no right to alter things on its own,” he said.

The parish is currently seeking a male vicar.

Mr Greenwood said the church faced many challenges but he is confident in another 50 years it will have emerged stronger.

He has always had an active interest in education, as an Ofsted inspector for religious education and he worked on the national committeee drawing up the criteria for GCSE exams.

His hobbies include crown green bowling, caravanning and family history.

He is married to Kay and they have a son, Andrew, daughter Alison Sutcliffe and two grandchildren.

On September 28, 7.30 pm, a sung mass will celebrate his 50 years. From today until Sunday, 10am to 4pm, the church is holding a flower festival to mark its centenary next month.