On the feast of the Sacred Heart, farewell to the Sacred Heart, Waterlooville

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.

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7 thoughts on “On the feast of the Sacred Heart, farewell to the Sacred Heart, Waterlooville

  1. sandy.morris says:

    Heart breaking that this beautiful, old, unique oratory will no doubt be sold on.The stained glass windows are magnificient, also the statue of Our Lady,and st.Joseph.A beautiful testament to the faith of our fathers.

  2. Clare says:

    Sandy,

    Indeed it was a beautiful church but I believe it had had no work done on it for years. Sections of the church connected to the old convent were literally falling down and the formation of the building with it’s ‘three naves’ had become problematic. Also the church was owned by the nuns not by the diocese and they wanted to sell it.
    Everybody seems terribly positive about the new church.
    Lets hope the statues go to a good home.

  3. sandy.morris says:

    Yes clare,you are right,it is in need of a lot of work.I found the three naves quite special,but I guess ,it does not fit in with “inclusiveness”.I understand that the two statues were unable to be removed for some reason.I believe that the parishoners did ,at one time, wish to take them to the new church,but it was not to be.I suppose the statues along with the windows will be destroyed when it is sold,although they cannot pull the building down as it is listed.Sorry to be so negative about it all ,and I do wish the parishioners joy in their new building.But oh Clare those beautiful windows……http://www.hampshirechurchwindows.co.uk/showchurch2.php?id=316

    • Clare says:

      Sandy.
      Thank you so much for the link. Quite fascinating to see all those beautiful windows again. I didn’t realise how familiar the window of St Patrick was to me. When I was a child, my family always sat in the same pew at Mass just across from that window and I must have spent hours staring at it.
      Pray that indeed the windows will eventually go to a good home.

  4. sandy.morris says:

    Ahh ,often sat there myself Clare,and yes ,who knows, some beautiful things might yet be saved, I hope so.

  5. Frances Halliday says:

    Hi Clare
    I discovered your blog while I was Googling for something else!
    I didn’t realise that the windows in our old church are on a website – thanks, Sandy. I have now put a link from our website to the Hampshire windows site.
    http://www.waterlooville-catholic.org.uk

    It ws sad to leave the old church but the new church is absolutely wonderful. We can see the whole congregation at Maass, which is a novelty!

    Who are your parents? I probably know them.

    Frances

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