East Leeds communities set to remember life of parish priest

Father Stephen Jones.
Father Stephen Jones.

Two communities in east Leeds are set to come together to remember the life and work of a much-missed parish priest.

Father Stephen Jones, who died in 2016 aged 69, was the priest for St Hilda’s Church in Cross Green and St Saviours Church in Richmond Hill between 1979 and 1985.

He was a popular figure with his parishioners and next Saturday, June 9, the churches he served so dutifully are hosting events in his memory.

A mass of thanksgiving for his life and ministry will be held at midday at St Saviours before lunch and then a procession to St Hilda’s, where another service will take place at 2.30pm.

Father Darren Percival, the current priest in charge at St Hilda’s and St Saviours, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “Fr Stephen’s funeral was held in Grimsby in 2016 and so some people from Leeds were not able to get there.

“He really made his mark on these communities and is still well thought of today so I am glad we have got the opportunity to remember him in this way.”

People attending next week’s celebration are set to include the Right Rev Graeme Knowles, Assistant Bishop of Ipswich and a good friend of Fr Stephen.

Before taking up his role at St Hilda’s and St Saviours, Fr Stephen spent three years as the precentor of Leeds Parish Church.

Meanwhile, Fr Darren’s work for the community since coming to Cross Green and Richmond Hill in 2016 has been recognised with an invite to one of the Queen’s garden parties.

Fr Darren, who will be attending the event at Buckingham Palace this Thursday, said: “I’m very pleased – I have been to a bishop’s garden party before but never imagined I would be invited to one being held by the Queen.”