Our Church and Parish
History of our church - St Joseph's Catholic Church, Nympsfield
Information also available here.
William Leigh purchased an estate at Woodchester in 1845. The Mansion remains incomplete, but is well worth a visit. Leigh was keen to have a religious community nearby, and invited the Passionists. He met with Blessed Dominic Barberi in 1846 at the George Inn, Frocester. Blessed Dominic ministered for a time in Nympsfield. In 1847 he said Mass in a house that is now known as Barberi Cottage. From 1852 Mass was celebrated in the Red Lion, which is now called Chapel House. St Joseph’s Church was built in 1923. It is a wonderful spiritual inheritance that Blessed Dominic helped build the foundations of the Catholic community in Nympsfield. Blessed Dominic Barberi is the priest who received Blessed John Henry Newman into the Church. We continue to ask for Blessed Dominic’s intercession for our community.
The Dominicans replaced the Passionists and serve the area until 1932, when the diocese took over responsibility for the parish. Well-known Dominicans, such as Fr Bede Jarrett, were associated with Nympsfield. There was a Dominican presence in more recent times as well, in the person of Fr Edwin Essex. St Joseph’s church contains a 15th century font, and a 12th century niche in the Lady chapel. Adjacent to the church is the parish school: St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School. Beyond that is the Marist convent. Nympsfield and Dursley have had a long association. Originally priests would travel from Nympsfield to Dursley. Now it is the other way round. It is a flourishing community, and many families attend the Saturday evening Mass.
Each week, a class will attend mass at St Joseph's on a Thursday at 10am. We really value attending mass with our families, sharing this time of reflection during the school day. Our Catholic children also attend mass on a Holy Day of Obligation. Please refer to the school newsletter or email SLT to find out when your child's class is attending. We hope you are able to join us soon!
'You shall love your neighbour as yourself.'
Matthew 22: 39
Our parish is a Christian community that has faith, action and hope at the heart of it. With strong links to Father Philip at St Joseph’s Catholic Church and the Marion Missionary Sisters of the poor, we celebrate a common desire to change the world through the values and virtues presented in the teachings of Jesus. Our parish has the opportunity to take part in the prayer life of the school, celebrations, retreats, masses and community inspired events. This community spirit is driven through our children’s desire to change our world; choosing to work closely with others in solidarity.
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