History of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish

The Catholic mission of Bedgrove began in 1963 with weekly Sunday Mass at Bedgrove school in Ingram Avenue. In 1966 the late Bishop Leo Parker agreed to Father Jim Galvin purchasing the site on which the present church and Parish hall stand at a cost of £1,207. The building of the church cost £25,500. It was opened in 1968 by Father George Walker and was served from the parish of St. Joseph's in the High Street until September 1979. Then Father Bennie Noonan was appointed priest in charge and came to live in the spare room in the church hall. Father Ken Payne petitioned Bishop Grant to create a new parish in Bedgrove. In April 1980 a semi-detached house was purchased in Pevensey Close for £28,500. On 25th April 1982 Father Noonan was installed as first Parish Priest. It took nine years for the first school to be built in the area serving St. Joseph's and Our Lady of Lourdes.

 

In 1989 the parish had 1499 known Catholics out of which 435 went regularly to Sunday Mass. The parish encompassed Bedgrove, Broughton- the Chiltern Park Estates, Aston Clinton, Buckland, Drayton Beachamp, Weston Turville and parts of Stoke Mandeville. Events of note at that time in the parish were the annual novena to Our Lady of Lourdes, regular Exposition and Benediction which still continue and the annual parish fete. In 1991 Father Frank McDermott replaced Father Bennie Noonan as Parish Priest and subsequently became part time chaplain at Stoke Mandeville hospital. The church was remodelled in 1993 and the work was completed by 1994 ready for the Silver Jubilee celebration of Our Lady of Lourdes’ Parish.

 

In 1995 Sister Bernadette Larkin came to work as Parish Sister at Our Lady of Lourdes Church and the following year Father Frank McDermott celebrated his Silver Jubilee.

 

The entire Church roof was in need of repair and after a great fund-raising effort was replaced in 2003 at a cost of £28,000.

 

In 2004 the building of the new church at St Clare’s was in progress and St. Joseph’s needed to accommodate St Clare's parishioners, consequently the Polish community needed to find an alternative venue. They approached Fr Frank and he welcomed them to Our Lady of Lourdes Church for an 8.30a.m. Sunday Mass.

 

Sadly Father Frank suffered from ill health and resigned as Parish priest in 2005. Father Joseph Pham served as temporary supply until he was officially appointed as Parish Priest on 8th December that year. Father Joseph Pham moved to Slough in October 2012 and Father Jude Iroh was appointed to Our Lady of Lourdes.