Parish Timeline


This timeline records the key events that have occurred over the 80 years of the parish’s life. Fuller histories of both churches are available elsewhere on this website, but this provides a snapshot in chronological order. 
Holy Cross has a Blue icon.
Christ the King has a Green icon.

1941

Salvatorian Provincial asks Bishop of Clifton whether they can establish a house in diocese. Bishop agrees and a few months later, Fr Kevin Kenny arrives to set up a new parish in Thornbury and stays for first year at Ship Inn Oldbury, home of Mrs Catto

1942

Successfully bids for house in 13 St Mary’s Street – loan of £900 from Mrs Catto & then soldier donates £900 in memory of fiancée killed in air raid. Used for weekday mass but not large enough for Sundays so Vicar of Thornbury allows use of Church Institute next door (now Ronnie’s Restaurant) for Sunday masses; mass centre at Sharpness

1943

Priests living in council house at 5 Boverton Road, Filton before moving to St Marys Street

1944

Responsible for Hortham, Almondsbury & Berkeley Hospitals, Charfield, Kingswood and Wotton

1946

Wotton served from Thornbury; parish took over chaplaincy of Leyhill Prison

1947

The number of parishioners grows to approximately 300

1947

Masses in Wotton held in Boys Club in Bear Street

1948

Fr Alphonsus Hopwood made the first of his two appearances on the staff of the parish in 1948

1949

The parishioner count has grown to approximately 450

1950

Chapel built at rear of 13 St Mary Street

1951

Chapel opened by Bishop; Fr Paul Keyte parish priest Thornbury

1952

Responsibility for Sharpness & Almondsbury

1953

Fr Vincent Hart parish priest Thornbury; bought building in Wotton for church (£610) – financed largely by Miss Ward. Holy Cross Church opened 21 September.

1954

Miss Wells donates Stations of Cross to Holy Cross

1957

The number of parishioners grows to approximately 700

1958

Negotiations re purchase of Porch House; Fr Bernard Ruddy parish priest Thornbury

1959

The number of parishioners grows to approximately 850

1960

Ladies Guild formed

1961

Porch House purchased £5250 for use as temporary church and accommodation. Responsibility for Leyhill Prison, Wotton-under-Edge, Berkeley Power Station

1962

The number of parishioners grows to approximately 950; Foundation stone laid for CTK church

1962

House at 13 The Old Town, Wotton bought by diocese for priest serving Holy Cross

1963

Responsibility for Leyhill Prison

1964

Christ The King church built (£20k) and opened 16 March; Stations of the Cross donated by workers at Oldbury Power Station. Wooden hut purchased (£150) for mass in Berkeley; Fr Clement Mercer parish priest Thornbury

1965

First outdoor Christ the King Corpus Christi procession; extension built for CTK Social Club; pipe organ installed in CTK from convent of Sisters of Mercy in Bristol

1966

Mass centre at Sharpness closed; total offertory collections for year £2875

1966

Fr Cyril Field priest in charge

1967

The number of parishioners grows to approximately 1500; formation of first parish council for CTK – existing groups: Social Club, Ladies Guild, St Stephen’s Guild; launch of stewardship campaign (forerunner of weekly envelopes); Social Club provided new floor in hall

1967

Fr Gerard Tuohey priest in charge

1968

Foundation stone laid for school – parish to meet half the cost; responsibility for Eastwood Park Detention Centre; gift-aid scheme launched; Boys Club formed

1968

Fr Richard Dunne priest in charge

1969

CTK School opened; Social Club extended Fr Clement organises a gymkhana at Mundy Playing Fields in aid of school fund & said he’d asked Val Doonican to open it but he had a prior engagement – profit of £150; Fr Clement Mercer dies after sudden illness soon after school opens; processional cross purchased in memory of Fr Mercer; masses change from Latin to English

1970

Fr Edmund Lanning parish priest Thornbury; average mass attendance 623 with 50 children making First Communion; Social Club lounge opened

1971

Mass attendance approx. 344 and 45 baptisms, 65 confirmations; PP authorised as registrar for marriages; parish amateur dramatic society formed and named “Octopus”

1971

Mass attendance approx. 60

1972

Sunday masses begin at Berkeley Castle after moving from hut in Lynch Road; repairs to Porch House roof; new church benches; Fr Lanning decides to resign as parish priest

1973

Fr Stephen Leggett parish priest, Thornbury; average mass attendance 507

1976

Fr George Malecki ordained in CTK in 1976

1978

Fr Danny Burns parish priest Thornbury; Joan Brown appointed as housekeeper; Lucky Numbers Scheme launched

1978

Fr Cyril Field priest in charge

1979

First meeting of Parish Advisory Committee; reference to Covenant Scheme active; Sr Winifred of Sisters of The Cross; Ladies Guild formed

1980

Average mass attendance 428

1980

Fr Aelred Dobson priest in charge; responsibility for Leyhill Prison; Buy a Brick Scheme launched at 30p per brick; Sr Marie-John takes over from Sr Winifred

1981

Major work at CTK – re-ordering of sanctuary, church extended and new entrance; stained glass windows installed commemorating three priests: Alphonsus, Bernard & Clement; dedication of renovated church 25 Feb

1981

Major work at Holy Cross Church – remodelled moving church to ground floor and meeting room upstairs – new church would seat 86; Sr Provincial of Sisters of The Cross will provide new pews

1982

Renovation work on Porch House; Salvatorian Sisters Paula and Teresa arrive

1983

Fr Louis Preston parish priest Thornbury

1984

Fr Alex McAllister ordained in CTK 23 June

1985

Salvatorian Sisters leave; average mass attendance 420

1985

Sr Margaret arrives

1988

Sisters of Christian Schools (also known as Sisters of St Marie Madeleine Postel) arrive – Sister Mary Joseph and Sister Mary Clare (later replaced by Sr Mary Kieran) living at 12 Orchard Avenue; Fr Frank Waters parish priest Thornbury

1988

Sr Margaret leaves

1990

Average mass attendance 450

1991

Christ the King Golden Jubilee; Ladies Guild closes

1992

Parish pilgrimage to Rome; Jan Myers retired as parish secretary and Julie Hooper appointed; Sr Mary Joseph left

1993

Fr Noel Keane parish priest Thornbury; Sr Josephine O’Malley SDS arrives

1994

100/200 Club launched

1995

Refurbishment work on Porch House; average mass attendance 438

1996

Refurbishment work on Porch House

1996

Average Sunday mass attendance 174

1999

Fr Alex McAllister parish priest Thornbury 26 Castle Street purchased for use as presbytery Parish pilgrimage to Fatima and Santiago de Compostela

2000

Parish pilgrimage to Israel; launched parish website

2000

Covenant scheme replaced by diocesan Gift Aid Scheme

2001

Christ the King Diamond Jubilee celebrations inc parish mission; parish pilgrimage to Rome; decision to refurbish Porch House

2002

Ladies Guild closes

2004

Parish pilgrimage to Poland

2004

Average Sunday mass attendance 98

2005

Average mass attendance 336

2005

Lawrence McCarthy & Kingsley Fulbrook ordained in Clifton Cathedral as Deacons

2006

Parish pilgrimage to Turkey Major refurbishment of Porch House begins Joan Brown finishes as housekeeper

2006

Parish website starts

2007

Christ the King Prayer Garden Labyrinth created; refurbishment of Porch House completed at cost to parish of £28k thanks to major grants

2008

Parish website closes

2010

Mass at Berkeley moves from Castle to Town Hall; Mass times change because of reduction in priests: Berkeley Sunday 09:00, Christ the King Saturday 18:00 and Sunday 08:30 & 11:00 Salvatorian Novitiate House opened at 25 Church Road, Thornbury

2010

Mass times change because of reduction in priests: Holy Cross Sunday 10:30; Fr Aelred died, and Holy Cross served from Christ the King

2011

Masses at Berkeley finish Major refurbishment programme begins – repairs to church roof

2011

Average mass attendance 67

2012

Salvatorian Novitiate House closes Fr Lazarus Msimbe parish priest Thornbury Refurbishment of church internally – carpet flooring, launch of Warmer Church Appeal

2013

Carpark resurfaced, external painting of Porch House; fans installed in church

2015

Average mass attendance 180

2015

Average mass attendance 52

2016

Fr George Malecki parish priest Thornbury; death-watch beetle infestation remedial work in Porch House

2017

Upgrade of central heating in church

2020

Church services stop 20 March for several months because of Covid virus. Then restarts but with limit of 30 at Christ the King Repairs to Porch House roof and attic

2020

Church services stop 20 March for several months because of Covid virus. Then restarts but with limit of 12 at Holy Cross

2021

Reduction in Sunday masses – 9.30 and 10.30 in Christ the King Social Club closes

2021

Reduction in Sunday masses –17.00 Saturday Holy Cross

2022

Mass times in Christ the King change to 9.00 and 10.30 Combined Pastoral Council for both churches created

2022

Combined Pastoral Council for both churches created

Updated 12 April 2022

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