Fr. Anthony Axe was born in Yorkshire in 1944 and qualified at the De La Salle Training College in Manchester in 1965 as a teacher. After eight years teaching in Catholic primary schools in Doncaster, he was appointed headmaster of St. Cuthbert’s Primary School in Northumberland. While working there he studied for an Open University degree in Humanities and came across the Dominicans, the Order of Preachers, in Newcastle.
He joined the Order in September 1976 and subsequently obtained a theology degree at Oxford University (1979-1982) where his interest in biblical archaeology became apparent. In 1983 he studied for a year at the Ecole Biblique et Archéologique Française in Jerusalem, the prestigious biblical and archaeological centre founded and administered by the Dominican Order. On his return to England he was assigned to the now defunct Spode Conference Centre in Rugeley. During his time there Fr. Anthony obtained a masters degree in Near Eastern Archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology in London. At Spode he also began leading an annual archaeological study tour, which still takes place.
He was assigned to the community in Edinburgh in 1986 where he began teaching a series of opera appreciation classes, which continued with increasing success until 2005. In 1993 he was asked by the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem to return as Professor of Archaeology. There he spent the next four years in charge of the archaeology faculty. Returning to Edinburgh in 1997, Fr. Anthony took up his work more or less where he left off. He became Prior and Parish Priest of St. Albert the Great, the Edinburgh University parish, in 2001.
In 2005, in view of the fact that Fr. Anthony had lived for nineteen years in Edinburgh, he decided it was time for a complete change. He was offered the Catholic Parish of Melbourne and Castle Donington in Derbyshire and Leicestershire and moved there on May 25th, 2005.