Tribute paid to respected and popular former priest of Bentham and Settle

Monsignor Anthony Boylan.
Monsignor Anthony Boylan.

Monsignor Anthony Bernard Boylan, better known as Father Tony, died recently at the age of 80.

Fr Tony, a priest of the Diocese of Leeds, was a respected and popular parish priest of the twin parishes of St Michael Settle and St Boniface Bentham from 2006 until his retirement in 2015. His love of the area shone through; he had made many visits to this part of the Yorkshire Dales since boyhood.

Born in Bradford, in a family with five brothers and one sister, he was educated at St Bede’s Grammar School in the city before completing his studies at St Cuthbert’s College, Ushaw in Durham.

Ordained in 1964, he served the diocese faithfully in many parishes from Doncaster to North Yorkshire.

His major work began with further studies in Rome and in 1975 was appointed to the National Liturgical Commission as secretary. This work of producing liturgies in English following the decrees of the Second Vatican Council led him to become chairman of the International Commission for English in the (ICEL) Advisory Committee as well as becoming the National Liturgy Adviser for Liturgical formation.

His expertise was recognised with his appointment in 1982 as a Chaplain of Honour by Pope St John Paul with ll with the title Monsignor.

Returning to the Leeds Diocese to Dewsbury, his liturgical expertise was continually called upon at diocesan, national and international levels. While fulfilling his role as parish priest in a range of parishes he also undertook senior positions in the diocese in a variety of areas.

Arriving in Bentham and Settle, he was loved and respected, not only in the parishes but also in the many areas of community life in both towns with which he became involved.

On retirement he was able to travel to many parts of Europe and North America with friends made on his many visits to Washington on ICEL business, as well as roaming in the Dales and continuing to write for various religious publications.

He leaves three brothers and a sister as well as nephews, nieces, cousins and their children.

The funeral is to be held on Wednesday December 11 at 11am at St Boniface RC Church, High Bentham.