Contact Details:

30 Southend Rd 

Stanford-Le-Hope 

Essex 

SS17 0PF 

Tel: 01375 672167
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         A brief history of our Church

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The Parish of Our Lady and St. Joseph was founded in June 1913, after Father Charles Carless, an enterprising priest with a gift for fund-raising, managed to collect the £900 needed to build the first Parish Church. Diocesan surveys listed the parish as the poorest mission in the Archdiocese of Westminster, and in its early years it was constantly under threat of closure. The parish expanded rapidly to cover an area of about one hundred square miles in the nineteen twenties, including Basildon, Bulphan, Corringham, Fobbing, Horndon on the Hill, Coryton (Kynochtown), Laindon, Linford, Mucking, Nevedon, Orsett, Pitsea, Shell Haven, Thames Haven and Vange.

The early life of the Parish School was equally precarious. Its future was guaranteed when the Sisters of Mercy based at Wanstead agreed to provide qualified teachers to staff the school. The Sisters arrived in April 1930 and served in the school for over sixty years.

During the post-war building boom, the Catholic congregation grew rapidly, and the parish had Mass Centres in Corringham, Horndon on the Hill, East Tilbury, Vange, Pitsea and Orsett.   The gradual rationalisation of the diocese starting in the nineteen eighties saw all of these Mass Centres close, until only the Parish Church remained.

old church

In 1989 there was a major fire in the Parish Church, and investigation revealed that the entire building was suffering from decay and would have to be pulled down and completely rebuilt.   Many saw the fire as a blessing in disguise, because without the subsequent diagnosis the older Church could have collapsed with potential loss of life.

The new Parish Church of Our Lady and St. Joseph was consecrated by the Rt. Rev. Thomas McMahon, Bishop of Brentwood, in February 1993. The architect based his design on many Italian churches. With its pale-yellow brickwork, walnut furniture, Caen stone altar and deep red carpet, it has the look of a village church with a homely and welcoming atmosphere. There are traditional stained-glass windows from the earlier Church together with modern stained-glass windows and an imposing Pre-Reformation font.

The current Parish Priest is Father Paul Dynan, who arrived in the parish in 2010. Unusually, Father Paul is also the Parish Priest of another, independent parish, Our Lady Star of the Sea, Tilbury.


book

This book is still available to purchase through the Repository