Vicar's tributes to homeless pensioner found dead in field near Leeds church

A VICAR has paid tribute to a homeless pensioner whose body was found in a field where he lived in a tent near a Leeds church.

Kenneth Howson
Kenneth Howson

An inquest opening at Wakefield heard 65-year-old Kenneth Howson’s decomposed body was found after police were called to land behind Cross Green Lane, Cross Green, Leeds, on January 5.

Wakefield Coroner’s Court was told a post mortem was carried out and the provisional cause of death was unascertained.

Area coroner Jonathan Leach adjourned the inquest to a date to be fixed.

A memorial service for Kenneth Howson – also known as Christian – was held at St Hilda’s Church on Cross Green Lane in April.

Father Darren Percival, Parish Priest of Cross Green and Richmond Hill, said Mr Howson was “loved and cherished” by many.

Father Percival told the YEP: “I first met Christian (Kenneth) in May 2016, when I walked round the back of St Hilda’s.

“His trademark trilby was on his head he was sat under a tree.

“He introduced himself, and asked about me had I come to make trouble for him. I said no, I wanted to be his friend.

“He told me about sleeping rough in the city centre, from where folk spat and kicked you. Cross Green was his oasis.

“To this day I stop with my dog Poppy and remember him fondly. He used to collect, what the world would call rubbish but to him they were everything.

“They are still there and are a reminder of a man who had nothing but had a heart that was genuine.”