Opening of the Catholic Chapel in Bridgwater 1846

Great interest was felt on Tuesday 24th February by the Catholics of Bridgwater and the vicinity in consequence of the official opening of St Joseph’s Chapel, shortly after ten o’clock.

The procession from the sacristy to the alter was then formed by the thurifer (incense-bearer) being followed by six acolythes in crimson cassocks and surplices, by the Rev. Jacob Illingworth as deacon and George Stephen as Sub-deacon and the Rev. J. Bonomi, high-priest.

The chapel which is only intended to be used as such temporarily was built for a catholic school-room.
The foundation being purchased by a subscription set on foot by Mr Capes, on his secession from the Church of England, at the solicitation of some friends.

On Thursday 22 June 1882 Bishop Clifford came to open the new church which has been built on the West bank of the River Parrett.

It is a more dignified building than the old little chapel in Gordon Terrace which was much too small to hold the present congregation.

Father Scoles our rector and the church architect must be a proud man today. We are all very grateful to old Mr Hewett, who provided most of the money.

Most of us at St Joseph’s find it hard enough to feed our families and pay the rent, we certainly could not have found the £886-10-0 required to build the new church and in addition to that there was the cost of the site.

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