The distinguished writer G K Chesterton visited Heckmondwike many times. He based his detective book character Father Brown on his friend Father John O Connor, priest at Holy Spirit Church from 1905-1922. Father Paddy Roche was parish priest there from 1963-1977. A keen golfer, he was chaplain to the Ryder Cup Team. He befriended the Apollo astronauts and gave them a blessing which they left on the moon, along with a prayer written by pupils of Holy Spirit School. In return he was given a golf ball which had been to the moon.
G K Chesterton also composed a witty verse about the town called "Ode to Heckmondwike" which goes: In Spain the sad guitar they strike/ And yearning sing of Heckmondwike/ The Papal Guard leans on his pike/ And dreams he is in Heckmondwike/ Peru's proud horsemen long to bike/ But for one hour in Heckmondwike/ Offered a land bill, Pete and Mike / Cry "Give us stones- in Heckmondwike"
You'll find the plaque outside Holy Spirit RC Church on Bath Road Heckmondwike.