Benedictine association with this parish in Ealing originates
back to 3rd November 1896 when Cardinal Vaughan transferred
the parish into the hands of Abbot Edmund Ford, having first
offered this mission to them back in 1895, when the foundation
stone for Westminster Cathedral was laid. At that time the
Benedictines had been ministering to local Catholics from a
house in Acton since 1832.
The Castle Hill House estate, covered
what has become Blakesley Avenue, Charlbury Grove and Marchwood
Crescent, was up for sale and Abbot Ford bought it and also
two acres of land. Father Bernard Bulbeck, from Downside, took
up residence in March 1897 using the conservatory in the house
for a make-shift chapel. The house itself was much too large
and so was let and the mission’s first priests moved
into 2 Marchwood Crescent at the end of 1899.
the parish was handed over this new mission was not established
without opposition. The previous parish priest, Father Richard
O’Halloran, refused to give up the parish when instructed
to do so by Cardinal Vaughan. This scandalised the Church and
the local community and featured prominently in the local press
for some time. Although this hampered the initial work of he
mission, most local Catholics did begin to attend services
in the temporary chapel at Castle Hill House.
updated 13th May 2007