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Gerrards Cross
 
St Joseph's Priory and Church, Gerrards Cross
 
Austenwood Common, Chalfont St. Peter Bucks SL9 8RY
Telephone (01753) 886581 Fax (01753) 892371.
Webpage: Carmelite Friars Gerrards Cross
 
The arrival of the Carmelite Community to Chalfonts in 1913.
 
 
The Carmelites established a mother house in Kensington, London, in 1866, soon to be expanded into a full monastery. Soon a Novitiate was needed to train friars for the priesthood. Land being unavailable in London, the Chapter sought elsewhere and Wincanton came on the market by 1881. Expansion spurred the Carmelites to make a Community House in the Home Counties.
 
At the invitation of his Lordship, Frederick William Keating, Bishop of Northampton, the Carmelite Fathers of Church Street, Kensington, W8, undertook the "Mission" at Chesham, Bucks.
 
On May 9th 1909, the first Mass was celebrated at "St. Helen's", Khartoum Avenue, by the Very Rev. Father Joseph Dominic Ostendi, O.D.C., Provincial of the Order. Shortly afterwards, a small Church was built and the "foundation" became known as "St. Joesph's". (It is now the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour). the "Mission" of Chesham was carved out of the large district and included Great Missenden, the Chalfonts and Gerrards Cross. It was previously served from High Wycombe.
 
In 1910 the Carmelite Fathers said Mass in the Water Hall Hotel, Amersham Road, which as then owned by Captain Henry J. Ford. (There is a hiding place for persecuted priests of Penal Days in the Hotel). By the help of benefactors, an iron hut (part of the Tring Museum) was purchased and erected near the Water Hall (measuring 39'6" by 19'3") and here Mass was said on 14th April, 1912.
 
Meanwhile negotiations were in progress for the transfer of the Carmelite Foundation from Chesham to Gerrards Cross, where a house and property was purchased by the joint AngloIrish Provinces of Discalced Carmelites from the Estate of Charles Edward Moore, Esq. of Mumfords' Chalfont St. Peter. (Two acres, two roods and thirteen perches). The house known as "Malherbe", became "St. Joseph's Priory", and many students were educated there and Priests were ordained in the Church
 
The Community formally took up residence on 14th September, 1913, and Mass was said for some time in the front room (parlour) of the Priory.
 
Plans for the new Church were drawn up by percy A. Lamb, F.R.I.B.A. and the Foundation Stone was blessed and laid by Bishop Keating on 2nd July, 1914. the Building Contractors were Messrs. Y.J. Lovell of Gerrards Cross.
 
Of the complete building, only the Lady Chapel, Chantry and Sacristies, were built, owing to the war, and the opening and Blessing of the Church took place on 29th July, 1915.
 
After a lapse of almost fifty years the building was completed. Percy Kelly was the architect of the beautiful Church of St. Joseph's which was opened on May 1st, 1963. The present St. Joseph's Parish comprises the following areas: Chalfont St Giles, Chalfont St Peter, Denham, Fulmer, Gerrards Cross, Iver Heath, Jordans, Seer Green, Stoke Poges, Tatling End.
 
Community:

Fr. Michael Spain, OCD. Prior
Fr. Martin McDonald, OCD. Sub-prior
Fr. Maurice Flynn, OCD.
Telephone: (01753) 886581
Fax: (01753) 892371
Email:Carmelite Priory, Gerrards Cross

 
 

Local Catholic Schools
(all for boys and girls)
St Joseph's Combined School, Chalfont St Peter 01753 887743
St Bernard's Secondary School, High Wycombe 01494 536196
St Bernard's Convent, Slough 01753 527020