Diocese of Northampton | Province of Westminster | Deanery of St Alban | Reg Charity No 234091 | Tel 01582:723099 | email sacredheartluton@yahoo.co.uk | © 2020

Introduction

Our parish lies on the edge of the Chilterns and some 500 feet above sea level. We are one mile from London Luton Airport. The area is steeped in history with settlements going back some 5,000 years and there have been many excavations and Roman finds.

The church opened in 1950 and has had a strong sense of community ever since. We are blessed to have a parish school (Sacred Heart Primary) right on our doorstep and a secondary/sixth form school (Cardinal Newman) in the town.

Our treasured Parish priests have been

Fr. George Walker 1948 to 1968

Fr. Patrick Oates 1968 to 1974

Fr. Eugene Connolly SMA 1976 to 2001

Fr. John Brown SMA 2001 to 2006

Fr. Chris Whitehouse 2006 to 2019

Fr. Mirek Misiura 2019 to date

Deacon Jim Bannan, is our Parish Permanent Deacon, ordained by Bishop Peter in this church in 2013 (as seen in the picture on the right) and officiates at weddings, funerals and services of adoration as well as fulfilling his role to preach the word of God.

Our Past

The first written record of “Stoppesle” dates from around 1200 AD. Stop = personal name, Ley (leah) = wood or clearing. The area was part of the Danelaw. It was a hamlet of the manor of Luton without a church.

John Keath was baptised in Luton on 24th June 1832. A mission was begun in 1845 by Rev. S Ward who stayed for two years. It was in the 1880s that the mission (of 180 Catholics) came under the care of Bedford. On the 8th January 1884 the first resident priest, Rev. J O’Connor, moved into Rothesay Road (No.21) where Mass was offered on 20th January 1884. An iron church was built at Castle Street before Our Lady Help of Christians was built in 1910.

The Stopsley mission was founded from Castle Street in 1946. Mass was offered in St. Thomas’s church hall.  In 1948 Fr. George Walker was the first resident priest. The church of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus was opened on 26th November 1950 and Fr. George was appointed Parish Priest in 1953. The Presbytery was built and the church extended in 1960.

The Convent of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart opened at 124 Ashcroft Road and five of the sisters taught in the Sacred Heart School. The school opened on 18th September 1962 with Sr. Columba as the Headteacher. The Society for the African Missions (SMA) looked after the parish from 1976 to 2006.

The church was consecrated by Bishop Peter Doyle on 30th September 2008. A stained glass window depicting the Last Supper was installed in the sanctuary in October 2013 and a Pentecost stained glass window (shown above) was installed in the sanctuary in November 2014. The windows were paid for by public subscription in memory of departed loved ones, memorialised on a brass plaque outside the Sacristy.

Services

OUR ONLY PUBLIC MASSES ARE SATURDAY 6.30PM, SUNDAY 9.00AM AND 11.00AM PLUS WEDNESDAY 9.30AM. ALL OTHER MASSES ARE BEING PRIVATELY SAID BY FR MIREK WITHOUT A CONGREGATION. THERE ARE NO CONFESSIONS OR STATIONS OF THE CROSS.

Sunday Masses: Saturday 6.30pm (First Mass of Sunday) and Sunday 9.00am and 11.00am

Holydays of Obligation: 9.30am and 7.30pm

Confessions: Saturday: 10.00am to 10.25am (with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament) and 6.00 to 6.15pm

Weekday Masses: Monday to Friday 9.30am (check the weekly Newsletter)

Stations of the Cross: Friday 7.00pm during Advent and Lent

Penitential Services: As announced before Christmas and Easter