The first place of worship for Catholics in Hampton after 1829 was provided by Michael Farmer who moved into St. Winifred’s in Belgrade Road in 1888. He was very anxious to begin a Catholic centre in the village and in 1897 he built a house close to his workshops in Avenue Road and included in it a room which could be used as a chapel.
His son, Edmund, was ordained priest in 1894 and was given permission by Cardinal Vaughan to say Mass in the room at St. Winifred’s on condition that anyone could attend. Later in 1918, with the growing number of Catholics, the workshop was altered to provide more space.
In 1923 the diocese bought Walnut Tree Cottage in Station Road and Fr. Harold Burton was the first priest to live at the house. He set up a chapel there to say a daily Mass while the Sunday Mass continued as usual in Avenue Road. The ground at the side of the cottage was cleared in 1927 and a new, temporary building, which was originally a site office used by the contractors who built Wembley Stadium in the early 1920’s, was bought for £50. After some modifications it was re-erected on concrete foundations at the Station Road site. This ‘temporary’ wood and asbestos building remained in use as the parish church for nearly sixty years!
In 1964 Archbishop Heenan, visiting St. Theodore’s to confirm some young people, looking around the church commented “Well, my dear people, this will not do!”. However it was not until 1975 when the first elected Parish Council was formed that things began to move forward. The parishioners worked hard and after many trials in November 1986 the new permanent church was finally finished.
It was originally intended to dedicate the new church to St. Winifred but it was thought that there would be confusion between St. Winifred in Belgrade Road and St. Winifred in Station Road so it was decided to ask Westminster to choose a title and “St. Theodore of Canterbury” was chosen.
The official opening and consecration of the church took place on Sunday 22nd March 1987 when the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Basil Hume, celebrated the ceremonial Mass.
Church & Liturgy
We are obliged, as confessing Christians, to give prayer and praise to our divine Lord in the privacy of our personal lives and in the assembly of the faithful. The Christian liturgies are principally Eucharistic in nature in which God reveals himself and his purposes and brings restoration to his people. We come together as a family to offer worship in accordance with the liturgical practice of the Church and to celebrate Mass in keeping with the feasts and seasons of the tear.
At Saint Theodore’s the sacrifice of the Mass is offered twice each Sunday and once on Saturday evening for Sunday. The principal Mass of Sunday is at 10.30am. Normally at this Mass there is a choir and organist who lead the congregation in singing hymns as well as parts of the ordinary of the Mass in well known settings and arrangements. Young children are made particularly welcome with their parents and those between the ages of four and six years are invited to join Sunday catechists in the parish centre for their own service of prayer before the offertory of the Mass.