Fr John O’Donoghue, is the current priest for St. Thomas More Church, Bostall Park, Bexleyheath.
The Parish is part of the Archdiocese of Southwark which includes Kent and the London metropolitan Boroughs of the Thames.
In the mid 19th Century the Catholic “map” of South East England was re-drawn and the Archdiocese of Southwark was born. The Parish of Bostall Park is a relative “new kid on the block”. A temporary chapel was erected on the present site in 1936, by Rev James Malone, the then Parish Priest of Crayford. The Clergy of Crayford, offered Mass and conducted baptisms in this building until August 1938, when Fr Owen McManus was appointed Parish Priest. He lived in a part of what was then St. Joseph’s Convent, Woolwich Road, Abbey Wood. This continued to be the residence of The Clergy until 1954, when two semi detached houses, 375 and 377 Long Lane were purchased. These continued to be the residence of The Clergy until 1980, when the present Presbytery was built in the church grounds, at 420 Long Lane. The Sanctuary of The Church was enlarged and re-ordered in 1985.
The present church of St. Thomas More was opened for worship Midnight Mass, Christmas 1951, having been built at the cost of £11,000. St. Thomas More Primary School, Sheldon Road was established in 1980 and it continues to cater for the educational needs of St. Thomas More Parish and St. John Vianney Parish, Bexleyheath. It is a “one and a half” (admitting 45 children each year) form entry school and is very highly regarded. It continues to go from strength to strength.
Who is Fr. John?
I have been Parish Priest of St. Thomas More for 10 years, having served as a Priest at St. Mary’s West Croydon (’62-’73), Abbey Wood and Thamesmead (’73-’80), St. Gertrude’s, South Bermondsey (’80-’89), St. Saviours, Lewisham (’89-’99).
Today, St. Thomas More Catholic Church is the centre of an active and lively Catholic community. The first Mass of Sunday is on Saturday evening at 6:30pm, with Mass on Sunday morning at 09:00 am and 10:30 am. We strive to provide a liturgy to meet the needs of different ages and traditions.
We are a social bunch too; we have a social club that boasts of regular entertainment, a Church Hall that is used by a large number of local groups for everything from Salsa dance classes to Mum and Toddler groups. We have barbeques in the summer and events for the whole family throughout the year.
We welcome you and invite you to be part of our lively Catholic community, as we try to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.
Our Parish Prayer
Father, Pour out your Spirit upon the people of this Parish, and grant us a new vision of your glory, a new experience of your power, a new consecration to your service, that your love may grow among us, and your Kingdom come:
Through Christ our Lord, Amen