8th February, 2021

RIP Fr Alban Crossley OSB

Ampleforth Abbey

Rev Dom Alban Crossley, OSB


Fr Alban Crossley OSB, Benedictine monk of Ampleforth Abbey, died on 2 February 2021 at the age of 86.

He was born in Farnworth, Lancashire, and joined the monastic community at Ampleforth Abbey in September 1955. From 1958-1961 he was at St Benet’s Hall at the University of Oxford where he took a degree in Physics, and from 1961-1965 he studied Theology at Fribourg University in Switzerland. Fr Alban was ordained priest on 18 July 1965.

From 1968-1979 he worked in the Junior House of Ampleforth College, where for many years he was Assistant Housemaster. When he retired from that role in 1979 Fr Alban enjoyed a sabbatical year studying liturgy in the United States of America, Rome, and a number of European countries. On his return to Ampleforth Abbey he was appointed Master of Ceremonies and Liturgy, and then in 1990 became assistant priest and then parish priest in St Mary’s, Brownedge, Bamber Bridge. In 1996 he was appointed parish priest of Our Lady and St Chad, Kirbymoorside, and its chapel of ease at St Mary’s, Helmsley.

For many years Fr Alban was involved in the Scout Movement both locally and nationally. He began as a Scout Leader in Ampleforth College Junior House in 1965, and other roles included work as County Chaplain in North Yorkshire (1969-1985), Assistant and then Leader Trainer in North Yorkshire (1972-1986), District Commissioner for the Ampleforth District (1981-1990), and Chief Commissioner for Roman Catholic Scouts from 1985-1990.

In 1999 Fr Alban was appointed to the Monastery of Christ the Word, Zimbabwe, a foundation established by the monks of Ampleforth Abbey in 1996. He remained in Zimbabwe until 2010. On his return to England he worked in St Austin’s parish, Grassendale, before his appointment as Monastery Guestmaster at Ampleforth Abbey in 2012. 

In recent years Fr Alban’s health declined and he became less mobile. Fr Alban died peacefully in York Hospital on 2 February 2021, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and a day of prayer in the Catholic Church devoted to all men and women in the consecrated life. 

Funeral arrangements are made in accordance with the necessary protocols due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Reception of the body into the Abbey church at Ampleforth will be on Sunday 14 February at 8.15 p.m. The private Funeral Mass will be at 11.30 a.m. on Monday 15 February, followed by burial in Monks’ Wood.

The links for audio-streaming and video-streaming are available at the Ampleforth Abbey Service Times web page.