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Tributes to Ampleforth Abbey monk, Father Geoffrey Lynch
7:53am Monday 11th February 2013 in News
A MONK and former prior of a York monastery who found his vocation while training for war has died at Ampleforth Abbey, aged 86.
Fr Geoffrey Lynch was secretary to Abbot Basil Hume and three other abbots of the abbey as well as parish priest of congregations in Lancashire and North Yorkshire.
Born Christopher Lynch in 1926 and educated at Ampleforth School, he served in the RAF Volunteer Reserve and Royal Air Force from 1944 to 1948.
While training in Torquay for war in Japan he felt the call to be a monk.
In September 1948, after taking part in a 230-mile pilgrimage from Wrexham to the shrine of Our Lady in Walsingham, he returned to Ampleforth Abbey and became a monk under the name Geoffrey. He was ordained priest in 1957 and also became assistant housemaster of the Junior House.
In August 1968, Abbot Hume appointed him as his secretary. When he left to become Cardinal and Archbishop of Westminster, Fr Lynch remained in North Yorkshire as secretary to his successors as well as holding other roles including Prior of St Bede’s Monastery and Pastoral Centre in York from 1987 to 1994.
His 60 years as a monk included spells as parish priest of Our Lady and the Holy Angels in Gilling East near Ampleforth and St Joseph’s, Brindle, in Lancashire, and novice master at Ampleforth Abbey from 1976 to 1983.
Despite a serious car crash in 2006 that put him in hospital for seven months and led to him having one leg amputated, he continued to work as assistant monastery librarian, chair of the school’s staff association and part-time receptionist. He was also editor of the Benedictine Yearbook from 2001 to 2006.
His funeral mass will take place at Ampleforth Abbey on Friday at 11.30am.