Obituary: Father Michael Phillips, priest

Father Michael Phillips, who has died at 88, was a Benedictine monk of Ampleforth Abbey in North Yorkshire and a former physics and science master at Ampleforth College.

Fr Michael Phillips

Father Michael Phillips, who has died at 88, was a Benedictine monk of Ampleforth Abbey in North Yorkshire and a former physics and science master at Ampleforth College.

Born in London in July 1933 and educated at Ampleforth, he trained as an accountant before joining joined the monastic community in 1952. In 1954 he went up to St Benet’s Hall at Oxford to study maths, moderations and physics. He also became a qualified rugby union referee. He was ordained priest in July 1962.

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He joined the staff of Ampleforth College that year and was senior physics master from 1966, and senior science master from 1969, as well as undertaking the role of chaplain at the prep school.

In 1979 he was appointed procurator of Ampleforth Abbey and College, a post he held for 12 years, spending summer holidays as chaplain on board the educational cruise ship SS Uganda.

Following a renewal course in Rome in 1990, he was appointed to his first parish assignment as priest in Our Lady and All Saints, Parbold, Lancashire. In November 1998 he was appointed parish priest of Our Lady Star of the Sea and St Michael’s, Workington, before returning to Ampleforth Abbey in May 2009. His final role was as chaplain and librarian at St Benet’s Hall.