The following tribute to the Revd Dr David Young has been submitted by the Revd David Wilding... 

David Young was a fellow curate in the diocese of Wakefield in the late 1960s, and our friendship developed, and continued undiminished for 50 years.

Although born in Romford, Essex, David and his family moved soon after to March in Cambridgeshire. Leaving March Grammar School after O Levels, David entered journalism, which stood him in good stead in later life. His National Service, delayed while he completed his National Diploma in Journalism, included a spell on Christmas Island in the Pacific at a time when nuclear tests were ongoing.

David felt the call to ordained ministry, and went to train at Ely Theological College for three years, but such was his academic ability that after two years he had passed all the necessary examinations for ordination. His third year was spent, in his own words, largely reading 19th-century church history and helping ‘slower’ men in their studies, especially with their writing of essays. However, in that third year, due to the lack of men offering themselves for ordination, the college closed abruptly, and David had to finish the last term of his final year at Lincoln Theological College. Later in his ministry his expertise was used by the Lincoln college to conduct seminars for their students.

There was a problem with David’s bishop not wanting him to marry (bishops could do that in those days!), which resulted in him moving to Wakefield in Yorkshire as Press Officer for the West Riding Police, and it was due to the gracious help of Bishop Eric Treacy at Wakefield, the ‘Railway Bishop’, that David was married and ordained. David had great regard for Eric Treacy, and they became firm friends.

Initially after being ordained in the diocese of Wakefield, whilst continuing as Press Officer for the police, he served in the parish of Crofton near Wakefield, and from there he moved to a second curacy at Heckmondwike, and subsequently was appointed Vicar of Stainland near Halifax.

A suggestion came to him to apply to become Rector of Patrington with Winstead in the diocese of York, and David was thrilled to be appointed to ’The Queen of Holderness’, perhaps the perfect example of a Decorated Gothic church – a real gem of a building. The post entailed being part-time chaplain at Winestead Hall Hospital, as a result of which his thoughts turned eventually to full-time hospital chaplaincy work, and he became Chaplain of the psychiatric hospital of St John’s Bracebridge Heath in Lincolnshire, and after its closure, successively served as Chaplain to North Lincolnshire Mental Health Unit, and Lincoln District Healthcare NHS Trust.

David's wife Noelle started to deteriorate in health, resulting in him becoming part-time Deputy Chaplain, and then retiring in 2004 to be her full-time carer. He was completely devoted to her care, and selflessly nursed her 24/7 for 15 years up to her death, steadfastly refusing to allow her to be hospitalised; a loving act of enormous self-sacrifice, at great cost to himself. 

David was a very faithful, caring, generous and good priest, deeply appreciated wherever he ministered. In addition, David was a diligent scholar, and it was wonderful to see him progress from gaining a Class 1 Lambeth Diploma for his work on F D Maurice, the controversial and influential Anglican 19th-century theologian, and a founder member of the Christian Socialists. David’s research continued, resulting in the award by the Open University of a PhD, and subsequently his thesis, F D Maurice and Unitarianism, was published by no less than the Clarendon Press Oxford, and enjoyed excellent reviews – ’a model of theological biography’; ’a deeply researched contribution to historical theology’. David was contributor too of articles to the Church Times, and a writer of short stories, some of which were read on BBC radio.

David was overjoyed to meet his second wife Barbara, but their very happy union was terminated all too soon by David’s death.

Rest in peace David, and may light perpetual shine upon you.


A resident of the Springline Parish, in recent years David had served the churches and people in the local communities. A funeral service was held at St John the Baptist Church in Scampton on Thursday, 21st February 2019.