in honour of The Blessed Virgin Mary
The Torchlight Procession was started in the 1951 by Father Gallon so that parishioners could take part in what is both an act of public worship and a display of witness to our faith. After the Rosary was said at the Church the procession; preceded by a statue of Our Lady and a loudspeaker van playing appropiate Hymns got underway, the original route went on Cemetery Road and then along Wellington Street turning left at the Yorkshire Bank onto Commercial Street and finishing at the Market Place where there would be a short service followed by Benediction. I'm told that in the early days the Market Place would be full before the tail end of the procession had even reached Commercial Street, in later years the route was shortened by not going on Wellinton Street but entering onto Commercial Street at its other end. From the start it was hugely popular attracting people from all over the diocese and beyond.
I think these are from the Torchlight Procession of 1974.
Monday 7th October 2013
More than 600 lanterns filled the streets with with candelight at the annual Torchlight Procession.
Catholics from all over the Leeds Diocese and beyond came together on Monday evening for a marketplace service before processing to St Mary of the Angels Church in Cross Bank Road for Benediction. Mgr John Wilson, the diocesan administrator, led the candle-lit service in the town centre.
Following Benediction, worshippers enjoyed a supper of pie and peas at St Mary’s Parochial Hall.
Organiser Annette Crowther said the good weather saw more than 600 people take part in the procession. She said: “May and October are devoted to Our Lady, Mary, and so the procession honours her.”