PARISH OF OUR LADY & ST BENEDICT
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCHES OF MARNHULL AND GILLINGHAM DORSET
The Reformation never completely eradicated Catholicism in Marnhull and there has been, in fact, only a gap of 125 years in the continuity of the Catholic life of the village since the time of King Alfred. In 1832, following Catholic Emancipation in 1829, when Catholics were once again allowed to practice the old faith, the parishioners built Our Lady's Church in Marnhull on a site donated by the Hussey family living in Nash Court. From 1651 the Husseys had hidden priests in Nash Court during penal times and supported persecuted Catholics. A statue of St Gregory stands in Our Lady's gazing towards the church it once called its own.
Our Lady's is the earliest Catholic church in the diocese to be built after the Reformation; the first freestanding Catholic parish church to be built for over 400 years.
Again it was the Husseys who were instrumental in building the little church of St Benedict in Gillingham. Agnes Mary Hussey married Robert Freame who, at the time was not a Catholic (later converting in 1909). Their son Bertram was to give a small cottage at Rolls Bridge Gillingham to the parish for use as a chapel of ease in the parish of Marnhull.
We would love to see you at our various events, 'get togethers', and parishioners meetings. There are a number of CaFE courses and Bible studies under way. Have a look at our Parish Life page to see if you might be interested!
There are also picnics, coffee mornings and open gardens that might interest you as well as pilgrimages and prayer groups.
Check our 'Churches Together' page to see what events all churches might enjoy.