St. Jospeh at 9 Binford Place, Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 3NJ England UK - St Joseph's Church Bridgwater.St Joseph's Church Bridgwater.
St Joseph is situated on the west bank of the River Parrett, which was once a hub of industrial activity in Bridgwater. It was initially opened and dedicated on 22nd June1882 by Bishop Cliffod. 100 years later the extension and parish room was built and dedicated in 1982 by Bishop Alexander. But this wasn’t the first church of St Joseph here in Bridgwater. The parish of Bridgwater has a long history which you can check out fully via the link. So why not have a look at our history and the photographs of the church. Or better still stop by and visit the church for mass where you will receive a warm welcome from everyone there.
Diary of a church 1882 – 1982
Since the time of the reformation, which according to history, started in 1517 in
The English reformation began in 1529 when a young King (Henry VII) wanted an annulment to marriage and was denied by the pope. This causes many problems for the catholic church and is wasn’t until the second Relief Act was passed in 1791 could Catholics, once again start building churches and schools. And although this has little to do with the
Before the current church was built in 1881 there wasn’t a parish, as such here in Bridgwater. Yet there were Catholics living in and around the town. Which is where our history starts.
In 1807 Lord Clifford, who lived at Chudleigh in
In 1882 the current original building of
1885 The Sisters of Charity came to Bridgwater and lived in a house on
1888 The Sisters opened a laundry service to help pay their way. It was designed by Fr Scoles and they initially employed 20 young girls.
1891 The sisters departed Bridgwater in June and then in July Fr Scoles was sent to Yeovil. Fr O’Meara a curate from
1892 A new stone pulpit is erected in the church to the right of the sanctuary. Fr Calway was the first to preach from it.
1893 Fr O’Meara is recalled to
1894 No parish priest sent for some time. After 11 visiting priests Fr Wadman was eventually sent as parish priest.
1914 August 4th saw the start of world war I for
1918 November 11th the end of World War I. Fr Browne is very ill and passes away aged 41, from flu on the 15th November. There were many suffering flu around Bridgwater that year.
1919 Fr Iles is appointed as parish priest. He started a memorial fund to Fr Browne which is ‘The Calvary’ scene on the north wall of the church (side chapel.)
1920 Canon Scoles, the first parish priest of the current church, died December 22nd in
1921 The holy Name mission at Cannington closes.
1926 Francis Grimshaw, was ordained after studying in
1927 Fr Iles is sent to St Georges Taunton and our new parish priest is Fr Cashman
1932 At Easter, Fr Cashman is transferred to Bedminster,
1933 Society of St Vincent de Paul (S.V.P) was started in the parish. There was a lot of poverty in the town due, mainly to the large numbers of unemployment. Many of the needy parishioners received vouchers for coal or food form the S.V.P.
1934 A branch of Catholic Women’s League was started in the parish.
1936 Plans to extend the church were prepared but with the level of unemployment around it seems unlikely that the funding can be found.
1937 A new factory is opened (April) in the Town to make ‘cellophane.’ As a result unemployment starts to go down in the area.
1939 Canon Davey is transferred to
1940 Our parish priest has been sent a curate, Fr McCarthy. Work started on renovating the old school building. It has been closed for over 20 years. Both priests and members of the parish give up their spare time to carry out the repairs. The school reopens with 59 children and staffed by the sisters of the convent. 24th August the first bomb fell on Bridgwater killing seven people, two of which were parishioners of
1942 Ernest Pry of Polden Street Bridgwater, was ordained to the priesthood in Paignton,
1943 Fr Bryne died July 2nd. His body was brought back to Bridgwater for the requiem and for the burial in Bristol Road Cemetry. Fr Timothy O’Connell is appointed as parish priest.
1946 The Knights of St Columba founded a council in Bridgwater.
1947 Fr Grimshaw, an old boy of the parish, was consecrated Bishop of Plymouth.
1948 Bishop Lee died. Fr O’Connell also died three weeks after the bishop.
1949 Fr Supple is acting as parish priest. New priest can’t be appointed until there is a new bishop appointed to the diocese. July 26th Joseph Rudderham is consecrated Bishop of Clifton. Fr Ryan from
1951 A summer fate is held in the grounds of the convent for the first time and was a grate success. It is likely to become an annual event.
1952 Television comes to Bridgwater. The Knights of St Columbra erected the first public Christmas Crib in a shop window in the High Street.
1953 Parishioners sent a letter to the President of Poland condemning the persecution of Catholics in
1954 Pope Pius XII declared this year as a ‘Marian Year.’ Francis Grimshaw was appointed Arch bishop of
1955 There has been an evening mass now held at
1956 Fr Ryan purchased some land near to the
1958 Fr Ryan is relocated to
1959 A site in
1960 Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Fisher visited Pope John XXIII. A new tabernacle was purchased for the church, costing £52
1962 Fr Morrissey re-introduced the Society of St Vincent de Paul. The building of the new school began with the foundation stone been laid on October 3rd by Monsignor Provost Canon Iles.
1963 Fr Morrissey and Fr Daly both left the parish on April 23rd. They were replaced by Fr McReynolds and Fr Dee. The new school ‘
1964 April 30th Bishop Rudderham came to open and bless the school. A mass centre was opened at Sydenham Community Centre. Fr McReynolds introduced the [arish to ‘Good Stewardship’ in a campaign which was launched at a free parish dinner held at Blake hall. This dinner was a grate success at raising the morale of the parish.
1965 Archbishop Grimshaw of the
1966 VOX POPULI, the first parish magazine was published at Easter. A mass centre was opened in Cannington and the first mass was held there on June 5th.
1968 In January abstinence of meat on Fridays’ has been abolished, but old habits die hard. Fr Dee was sent to
1969 A new three year cycle of readings at mass is introduced as laid down in the Vatican II. Members of many different congregations in Bridgwater including those from
1970 Canonisation of Forty Martyrs in
1971 Keith Hardless ordained to the priesthood in St Josephs’ Church.
1973 Fr Carpenter was transferred to Stow-on-the-Wold as parish priest and was replaced by Fr McGlinchey
1976 School debt is paid off.
1977 Fr McGlinchey our curate is replaced by Fr Peach.
1979 The Co-operative building adjacent to the church was purchased for £20,000 to provide a site for rebuilding the church or building an extension. A fabric committee of twelve parishioners was elected at a parish meeting. This committee along with the parish clergy is to be responsible for providing a larger church
1980 Demolition of the old Co-op building stated on October 27th.
1981 Building of the extension to the old church commenced in May. A steering committee consisting of members of the fabric committee and representatives from the major parish interest groups was set up on September 27th to organise celebrations for our centenary year. The new extension was used for the first time for mass.
1982 The Centenary Year – A year of celebration.