From 1849/1852 to 2021-2022
Our Parish began as what would have been known as a Mission in 1849. It could not be called a Parish yet, as Catholic Emancipation in this country had only begun
in earnest in 1829, leading to the restoration of the
Bishops of England and Wales in 1850.
As a number of Catholics lived and worked in this area,
the life of the Parish had already begun beforehand,
but work on the church building began in 1851 and was completed in 1852. Two years later, in April 1854,
Canon Wenham, our first Parish Priest, began a school which was built at the north end of the ground next
to Church Path, and a strip of ground was subsequently added to the burial-ground on the east side,
with a brick wall built around the whole.
Canon Wenham's dwelling was at first a plain, square,
brick and slated house facing the east, near the
church door on the south-west side. This was pulled
down and the present stone Presbytery was built
to connect with an entrance to the church.
170th Anniversary Plans
In September 2019, 170 years after the Mission began,
a small part of the Nave ceiling collapsed, heralding an important survey of the safety and 'health' of the church properties. Over the course of 2019 into 2020 our
Parish Priest, Fr. Adrian McKenna, and the Parish
Finance Committee oversaw repairs to the Parish Hall
and church Nave which have culminated this year, in 2021,
with urgent safety repairs to one of the external
eastern buttresses and our beautiful West Window.
The work so far has cost over £100,000 (£100K)
and we have only recently begun to fundraise
because of the great restrictions the Pandemic
has placed on all of us socially and economically.
In February 2021 an independent survey was held
of all the church buildings to determine which are
the most urgent repairs so we can see how best
we can plan to protect and care for our property
for the years ahead. As soon as the Parish Finance Committee has the report we will make it available to
the Parish as a whole so that we can work together
to plan the way ahead and help both renovate and restore our Parish yet build for a faithful future:
to 170 years and beyond!
There are a few ways you can help us
to fundraise for our anniversary repairs:
Clicking above takes you to our fundraising page where you can donate by debit or credit card, or you can scan the QR code below as every penny helps to give
us a future. If you would like to donate via your own banking App or by standing order, please click the box
to download our bank form as this gives details on what you can do. Thank you.
160 Year Anniversary 2012
2012 was a very important year for our parish – it marked the 160th anniversary of the opening of the church. From the days of our very first Parish Priest – Father John Wenham, a disciple of Cardinal Newman - until the present this has been a flourishing, vibrant and faith-filled community. Our celebrations this year were tribute to our long history while also looking forward to the future, ensuring that our beautiful church can continue to provide a focus for parish life for the next 160 years and beyond.
During this year we began raising funds to restore and renovate some original features of the church, such as the patterned tiled floor and stencilled decoration to the sanctuary, while also improving more modern features, such as the lighting, ensuring that the innovations are fully in keeping with the Victorian, Gothic Revival building while also fully fit for purpose in the 21st Century.
This was an ambitious task, inspired by the dedication of past generations of parishioners, people who often lived through very difficult times, but cherished and preserved our historic church and passed it on to us. It now falls to us to pass that legacy on intact to generations yet to come.