This is the parish church of the Sacred Heart in Waterlooville, Hampshire. It is the church I was baptised in, where I made my first Holy Communion and where I was confirmed. It is still the parish where my parents attend Mass.
Yesterday, on the Solemnity of Ss Peter and Paul, the last ever Mass was celebrated there and tomorrow is the dedication of their new church built just up the road, led by Bishop Crispian Hollis.
The new church will be known as the Church of the Sacred Heart and St Peter.
I naturally feel quite sad for nostalgic reasons that the original will no longer be the parish church but there you have it. I have just found a piece on the internet on the history of the church:
When the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity arrived on 1 April 1900, there was one Catholic family living in the district – the Harcourt family. Their dream was to build a chapel next to St Michael’s Convent and money from running a laundry was put into a building fund.
After the First World War, plans were drawn up by the architect Wilfred C Manger, based in Preston, to build a chapel, but Bishop Cotter requested that the sisters make some provision for the increasing number of Catholics in the area until such time as a parish church could be built. This accounts for the three-aisle shape of the present church: one for The Sisters, one for those in their care and one for the parish. The new church, built in a Byzantine style, was opened on Thursday 6 December 1923 by Bishop Cotter.
On Tuesday 18 December 1973 the Community of St Michael’s Convent celebrated, together with the parish, the Golden Jubilee of the opening of the Church of the Sacred Heart. This event was marked by a concelebrated mass offered by Bishop Derek Worlock, together with the Parish Priest, Father Wilfred Baldwin, and many of the priests who had served us in the past.
The church is now a statutory Grade II listed building and remains in the ownership of the Sisters, once the parish moves into the new church.
I wish the parish all the success in their new home.
For them, one of my favourite pieces of music, written (as if you didn’t know) for the dedication of a church. It is of course Bruckner’s Locus Iste.