Outline History

The origins of St. Patrick’s parish go back to 1828 when the Rev. Lewis Oxley O.P of St Mary’s Chapel, Lady Lane, issued an appeal for funds to permit the building of a second chapel in Leeds, given the rapid growth of the town’s catholic population. The appeal was a success, attracting subscribers from across the North of England, and many from Ireland. Thus, the new chapel dedicated to St. Patrick was opened in July 1831. This building situated on the North side of York Road (almost directly opposite the present day Irish Centre) survived until 1964 when the property, including a burial ground, was sold to Leeds Corporation and the chapel was demolished. From 1891 until 1964 the building was known as St. Patrick’s school.

In 1891 the present St. Patrick’s Church was opened at the junction of New York Road and Burmantofts Street. The man responsible for this building together with the presbytery (completed in 1894) the parochial hall (1906), and the former St. Charles school (1906-7) was provost A.J Collingwood V.G, parish priest from 1887 – 1926. During his time St. Augustine’s parish was established at Harehills in 1905 and in 1924 the foundations were laid for the creation of St. Theresa’s parish at Cross Gates in 1930. Both these off-shoots from St. Patrick’s in turn promoted the development of new parishes in the expanding suburbs of east Leeds from the 1930’s onwards.

In the years before and after the Second World War St. Patrick’s was profoundly affected by the clearance slums in the central districts of Leeds and the rehousing of much of their population in the suburbs. In 1945 the population of the parish was estimated at 6,000; fifty years later the combined population with Mount St. Mary’s was 1,800.

In 1989 the Leeds Catholic Schools reorganisation led to the closure of St. Charles’ school and the relocation of the parish primary school (St. Patrick’s) to the site of the former St. Brighid’s school in Torre Road. Adjacent to which the third Church in the history of the parish has just been completed, in April 2001. Remarkably, it is only a matter of few hundred yards away from the site of the first St. Patrick’s Church in 1831.

From 1992 the clergy from St. Patrick’s had served the parish of Mount St. Mary.

On 15th August 2000 the parish of Mount St. Mary’s was formally closed by Bishop Konstant and amalgamated to St. Patrick’s.