Many things have been happening in the Cotswolds this year as Winchcombe Parish celebrates its Centenary. Bishop Declan visited recently and many more events are being planned for the Centenary year.
Phil Gibbons visited last week and spoke with some key parishioners about the great things that are happening in the parish.
First he spoke with Pat Wilkinson who has written a book about the history of the parish entitled ‘The story of the Parish Church of Saint Nicholas, Winchcombe’.
Phil also spoke with Pat, Sue and Bernadette about the many things happening there.
History of Parish:
The Winchcombe mission was initiated in 1915: the last to be established in the diocese before the end of the missionary status of the country. Early in the First World War Fr. Wilfred Palmer was given authority to build a chapel there for the thirty Catholics in Winchcombe, and also for the Belgian refugees there. The disused buildings of the Chandos grammar school were adapted, and the church of St. Nicholas opened in that year. The first Mass to be celebrated there was a requiem for Mrs. Forster who died tragically at her home. Fr. Bede Griffiths made his first Communion as a Catholic there. In 1955 the church was extended to incorporate a Lady Chapel and sacristy, and a new presbytery built. This followed the demolition of the former presbytery, a medieval half-timber house. The architect was Peter Falconer who has done much work for the Catholic church in post-war years. The church now has a stone slated roof and bellcote.
Extract from ‘The Diocese of Clifton 1850 – 2000′ by Rev Dr J A Harding the Diocesan Archivist, available from the ‘Publications’ page of this site.