Parish Priest: Fr. Douglas Bull
Address: 208 Sangley Road, London, SE6 2JS
Phone: 0208 698 3672
Monday to Friday: 9:15
Vigil Mass of Saturday: 18:30
Sunday: 10.00 and 11:30
Times may vary. Please check our weekly newsletter.
About Holy Cross Church
Holy Cross Church was opened by Bishop Amigo on 14 September 1904 – the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross. Originally serviced from Lewisham, the new church’s first parish priest, Fr Edward Escarguel, was installed on 7 January 1905. The church had to wait until July 1960, however, to be formally consecrated.
Holy Cross was one of over 20 churches built in the early years of the 20th Century under the financial patronage of Miss Frances Ellis (1846-1930), an heiress who converted to Catholicism and was received into the Church in January 1901. Miss Ellis inherited a considerable fortune from her parents, and dedicated her life to founding new churches, hospitals, hospices, orphanages and nursing homes. Her vision in building so many churches in South London, at a time of enormous population increase, created new parishes and facilitated attendance at Mass for thousands of people who otherwise would have had no local parish church.
It was her specific request that each of her churches should be small, simple and Romanesque in style. They came to be known as Miss Ellis boxes. The architect of several of them, including Holy Cross, was F W Tasker, and the building was described at the time in The Tablet as a plain and unpretentious structure. Since then the church has undergone several changes, including the addition of the sanctuary, sacristy and organ in 1924, and the porch at the front of the building in 1949. The interior has also seen many changes including the addition of stained glass windows, wall paintings, shrines and statues over the years, as well as the major refurbishing and reordering of the sanctuary in 1991, which produced the open, welcoming interior familiar to us all today.
The parish of Holy Cross has grown from its humble beginnings in 1904 to a thriving community of some 600 families today. Around 700 parishioners attend Mass each week, of all ages from tiny babies to those in their 90s. Over the years, the parish community has become richly multicultural, reflecting the growing diversity of the local population here in Catford.
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