St Michael's Tetbury; click here to go to the Home page
 St Michael's Tetbury
 A Roman Catholic Church in the Diocese of Clifton

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A brief history of Catholicism in Tetbury and St Michaels Church

Early records of Catholicism in Tetbury are sketchy though a Catholic church stood on the spot now occupied by St Mary the Virgin, from very early on until the reformation. The original church fell into decay and was rebuilt in 1777 and the present building is the only Georgian church in the county.

Tetbury is the oldest site of Christian worship in Gloucestershire – people have worshiped here since a monastery was founded in 681 and a minster church was mentioned but is not recorded anywhere else. It is assumed there was a church at Tetbury in 1086 as a priest was recorded on the Manor.

Much later it is known that at the insistence of a Belgian resident, Baron de Brienen, Mass was celebrated in 1881 at the home of Mr Hugginson, a confectioner of the town and that from 1881 to 1883 Father Francis Larive came from Malmesbury to celebrate Mass there. The congregation then numbered twenty or thirty.

Thereafter records are silent until the First World War when, as with many other Cotswold communities, an influx of Belgian refugees greatly enlarged the Catholic presence of the town. Mass was then said at nearby Chavenage House.

The Tetbury community did not secure a permanent place of worship until later.

The present church’s history goes back some 75 years, when Father Alphonsus Grorord, the Parish Priest from Malmesbury purchased York House in Silver Street.

Catholics in the area gathered together to establish a community under the caring eye of the visiting priests from Malmesbury and Devizes. Father Gamble, Father Harrison and others would celebrate Mass in a back room of York House, which stands opposite today’s Parish Office and Presbytery in Silver Street.

With the outbreak of war large numbers of evacuees came to Tetbury and larger accommodation proved necessary; for a few months in Oak House, the home of a parishioner, then in the ball-room of the White Hart (now The Snooty Fox), whose landlord was a Catholic. Finally, in 1941 a former Baptist chapel was bought at auction. Father Harrison proudly led the way in buying what is now St Michael’s Catholic Church. A separate Parish for Tetbury was founded and in 1942 the former Baptist Chapel at the Green was opened as St Michaels Catholic Church..

The Church building was constructed in 1871/2, the hall added in about 1965 and the Sacristy extension added in about 1988.

The Fransalians continued to serve Tetbury until 1995 when worship has been continued by Priests from the Diocese of Clifton to the present day.Mgr. William Mitchelllovingly served the parish for 8 years until his sudden death in August 2008.

Around the Church

The twelve Stations of the Cross are carved into the walls of the Church on either side. Our Lady’s Statue is on the left hand side Of the Church behind the Ambo there are Votive candles available for Prayer.

On the left hand side of the Church we have the statue of Jesus and opposite on the right Joseph, completing the Holy Family.

On the right hand side of the Church above the Confessional we have an icon of our Patron, St Michael the Archangel.

On the right side of our Church we have an Ambry which holds the ampoules containing the Holy Oils which are blessed by Bishop Declan at the Chrism Mass during Holy Week.

The Ambry and ampoules were purchased by the memorial fund in memory of Mgr William Mitchell; Parish Priest from 2001 until he passed away in 2008.

Our Parish Priests

1941  Fr Basil Harrison  MSFS 
1941  Fr Howard Ford  MSFS 
1951  Fr Thomas Robes  MSFS 
1952  Fr Jacobus Lariff  MSFS 
1957  Fr Basil Harrison  MSFS 
1959  Fr Peter Devilau  MSFS 
1964  Fr James Gamble  MSFS 
1971  Fr Anthony McCabe  MSFS 
1973  Fr Patrick Waldron  MSFS 
1987  Fr Hubert Mirandap  MSFS 
1990  Fr Sean Flurry  MSFS 
1995  Fr Jones-Frank  DIOCESE 
1996  Fr McCauley  DIOCESE 
1997  Fr James Nolan  DIOCESE 
1999  Fr Phillips  DIOCESE 
2001  Mgr William Mitchell  DIOCESE 
2009  Fr Patrick Eastman  DIOCESE 
2011  Fr Michael Davies  DIOCESE 
2013  Fr Isidore Obi  DIOCESE