|Admin_History||Bernard Guy Swindells was born in Macclesfield on 24 May 1887. His parents, George Cawley Swindellls and Eleanor Maude Swindells, were Catholic converts. From the age of ten, Swindells attended Stonyhurst College where he excelled academically and musically. After leaving school, he joined the Society of Jesus on 7 September 1905 and undertook his noviceship at Manresa. He studied a course of Philosophy at St Mary's Hall and spent a year teaching at Stonyhurst. He then completed a degree in Mathematics and Physics at the Universities of Liverpool and London. He returned to teach at Stonyhurst for a couple of years, during which time he served in the Officer Training Corps. In 1918 he moved to St Beuno's to study Theology and he was ordained at the end of his second year there on 25 July 1920. Swindells completed his tertianship at the German House in Holland. |
Swindells was to have a life-long association with Stonyhurst, returning to the college after his formation to teach in various capacities for over 30 years. Swindells initially headed the science department and had particular responsibility for teaching Physics and Religious Doctrine. In 1933 he was appointed Prefect of Studies at Stonyhurst and was responsible for introducing Biology into the college curriculum. In 1945, he succeeded Fr Belton as Rector. During his tenure as rector, Swindells oversaw the opening of St Mary's Hall as a preparatory school to the college.
After many years of service at Stonyhurst, Swindells left the college in 1952 and spent a year teaching at St Michael's in Leeds before being appointed Parish Priest of St Ignatius in Stamford Hill. After a long career in teaching, Swindells now concentrated his efforts on parish life, in particular working to swell the size of the congregation and to improve the state of the parish finances. Between 1960 and 1970, Swindells moved around with short spells at Beaumont (1960-1961), Manresa (1961), Harlaxton (1962-1965) and Bournemouth (1966-1969). He returned to the Stamford Hill parish in 1970 for a period of six years to serve as Procurator.
By the age of ninety and with his health deteriorating, Swindells' final appointment was with the community at Campion House in Osterley. He died on 2 July 1977 whilst out on a walk exploring the neighbourhood. Bernard Swindells had been a Jesuit for 72 years. His Requiem Mass was held on 8 July 1977 at Osterley, followed by an internment at Kensal Green.
A full obituary can be found in Letters & Notices, volume 82, pp. 236 - 245.