Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting WONEWS to 80360, or email
Priest’s achievements to be celebrated at Bolton Priory memorial service
8:00am Tuesday 22nd January 2013 in Local news
The life and achievements of the Rev Canon Maurice Slaughter will be celebrated in a memorial service at Bolton Priory on Thursday, January 24.
The Duke of Devonshire, as patron of Bolton Abbey, is expected to join Canon Slaughter’s family, colleagues and large numbers of the congregation and friends of the Priory at the service.
Mr Slaughter, who died in December, came to Bolton Abbey as the Priest in Charge of its Priory Church in 1978. At that time, its fortunes were at a very low ebb.
The congregation was down to single figures, the building badly needed restoration, and the bishop at that time was proposing to close it down.
Mr Slaughter was the driving force behind the revival of the Priory. Described as a “persuasive and inspiring” person, he argued strongly that he could reverse its decline, and the bishop gave him two years to do this.
He gathered around himself a group of capable and enthusiastic helpers and set about his task. Within a very few years he had raised the enormous sum of £300,000, had added a roof to the semi-ruined west tower, increased the congregation to 180, and started to attract tens of thousands of visitors from around the world.
Members of the church say had Mr Slaughter not provided this inspired leadership, Bolton Priory may well have become a picturesque but closed and semi-ruined church by the banks of the River Wharfe.