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History Group

The group was established a few years ago to research and appreciate all aspects of the history of our church and parish both for our interest and for the benefit of all who value the rich heritage and legacy of our Catholic faith and the contribution it has made to the local community and parish life.

Many hours of painstaking work looking through the Jesuit diaries of former parish priests of St Edmund's stimulated the idea of producing a booklet to record those early years. The contributions of parishioners' past memories also provided valuable material to assist the task. It is a sad fact that many parish records and valuable artefacts have been lost and sold over the years which makes us appreciate all the more the noteworthy historical significance of those remaining items and the features in our Church that make it so special.

The Booklet, 'The Present from Our Past' was aimed to be informative but was also written to coincide with the important 250th anniversary of the Chapel having been built by Fr John Gage in 1762 and which was dedicated to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. It is the oldest post-reformation chapel still in use in the Diocese. Revised leaflets giving a brief history of the Church and Parish which are a helpful guide for our visitors were also produced.

Having completed those tasks, the History Group was re-established in 2014 and is undertaking some mini-projects, including the life of St Alban Roe; local Catholic life during the Word Wars; documenting the 250th anniversary celebrations; documenting the recent restoration of the Church, Chapel and Crypt; extracting items of historic interest from Church bulletins and records.

Whatever your level of interest or ability in history and heritage we warmly welcome more members to ensure that our past is duly recognised and properly recorded - the Group is informal and meets four times per year. Contact for further details.

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