About the Parish

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A Brief History of the Parish

People in the area first attended Mass in the chapel of the former St Andrew’s Hospital (1913). Then a wooden church was built in the hospital grounds to accommodate increasing numbers, and it was in this church that in November 1927 the Rosminian Fathers (Institute of Charity) began the Parish of St Mary and St Andrew, at the invitation of the Archbishop of Westminster.

Increased housing all about brought great numbers of Catholics to the district, and the need soon became apparent for a large permanent building. Fr John Keating, the second Parish Priest, worked towards this, and the present structure, including the hall beneath, was completed at the cost of slightly less than £10,000. The designer, builder and contractor of the church was Francis Bradford, K.S.G. The new church was solemnly opened on May 18th 1933, by Bishop Butt.

The building survived heavy bombing in the war. Post-war years saw gradual growth in numbers and in 1977-78 Fr Timothy Maloney added the side chapel.

In 1969 the Sanctuary was remodelled for the new Liturgy under the direction of Fr. Thomas Stockham.

In August 1982 Fr Maloney procured for the parish the bell, specially cast for the Papal Mass at Coventry, and installed it in the small tower at the front of the church.

In September 1994 the Rosminians gave the parish over to the care of the Diocese of Westminster, and the Archbishop appointed two secular clergy.

In 1999 work commenced on providing access to the church for all people, by means of a ramp and lift. The work was completed in November 1999 and the church and completed work were blessed and dedicated by the then Area Bishop, Vincent Nichols.