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3rd April 2020. For up to date information regarding streamed Masses etc etc please see our Facebook page Christ The King Catholic Parish, Alfreton, Derbyshire'.

 

24th March 2020. We have been advised by Bishop Patrick who has just heard from the Cardinal that, following a conversation between our Bishops' Conference medical advisor and a government official responsible for the Housing Communities & Local Government amendment document, that all our churches must now remain closed during this initial period of three week 'lockdown'

Christ The King Alfreton

 

Before the Reformation, Catholics worshipped in the present Parish Church, St Martin of Tours, on Church Street.

After Henry VIII’s purge of the church, Catholic worship declined rapidly & it is reported that when Fr Nicholas Garlick & Fr Robert Ludlam passed through the town on their way to the gallows at Derby, the few remaining Catholics saw this as the end & Catholicism disappeared. In fact Alfreton became decidedly anti Catholic and within 10 years considered any priest to be a popish traitor.

Then around the mid 1800’s 2 Catholic families appeared in the area. They were staunch & walked to & from Butterley, Ripley, (where there was a very small Mass centre), in order to attend Mass. Secretly, a priest would occasionally come to their houses and say Mass for them but he had to disguise himself. Gradually they became bolder & the priest would then say Mass in the Kings Head.

In about 1880, this small congregation bought a plot of land on Park Street at a cost of £40 & built the tiny church of St Mary’s which opened in 1883. It held a maximum of 90 people. The position 50 years later was that the Catholic population was greatly reduced & there was no resident priest – it was usually a priest from Ripley or Mansfield & very occasionally Clay Cross who came to say Mass. People in the area didn’t help either, Park Street was the poorest part of town & the miners’ families turned out to jeer the papists when they went to Mass. So, when Father Heald was made parish priest in 1922, the church was in poor repair, locked up all week with hardly anybody going to it. He had to rent a room in a house on Park Street, where his only furniture was a table, 3 chairs & a bunk to sleep on. When Father Heald became Parish Priest he brought Clay Cross into St Mary’s Parish.

Within a month Father Heald had raised the necessary money and, with help, he repaired and redecorated the church. There was Mass & Benediction daily and the church became known as “the little white shrine to Our Lady”

In August 1923 he began an appeal to raise £3000 to build a new church on Nottingham Road. Having raised the money, Christ The King church opened in 1927. This was the 1st Catholic church in England named Christ The King but the church was erected to the memory of Pope Pius X & is still dedicated to him. The church on Park Street still stands & has had many uses over the years – mainly to do with cars & garage repairs.

Over the years the church has been altered inside & out. Father Blackwell had the church extended & a new presbytery built (the previous presbytery stood where the corner of the car park is joining North Street & Nottingham Road. The statue outside the church door is the original statue which used to stand on top of the porch. The last alteration to the church was added in 1981/2 when the Parish Social Centre opened.

 

St Patrick & St Brigid Clay Cross

 

Prior to 1862, Mass was only available in Clay Cross at the Mass Centre, which was a room above a butcher’s shop on the corner of High Street & Park Street. Due to the influx of Irish labourers, who had come to help with the construction of the railway tunnel for Clay Cross Company at this time, a more substantial place of worship was needed. Consequently land was acquired, on what is now Thanet Street, where a basic building was erected, which was served by clergy from Ilkeston, Chesterfield & Mansfield. St Patrick & St Brigid was consecrated by the Bishop of Nottingham on June 1st 1862.

In 1881 Father Daniel Meenagh was appointed Parish Priest & in 1882 he extended & refurbished the church, which consisted of a chapel, nave & Lady Chapel, he also restored an attached cottage to serve as a presbytery. In addition to the Chapel at Clay Cross there was also a chapel of Ease at Heath, but nothing remains of that building.

Father Meenagh quickly established himself & the Roman Catholic Church as integral to the life of Clay Cross. The Catholic population continued to grow & in 1883 the

local newspaper reported that 150 adults & children had received Holy Communion at the 8.30am Mass & in the evening of the same day approximately 100 people were confirmed.

Sadly on October 21st 1915 Father Meenagh took his own life. He was found by his housekeeper, Margaret Divine the following day. This tragedy put the parish in turmoil & in the following months the townspeople provided a stained glass window & a font in his memory, both of which can still be seen in the church. From 1915, until the amalgamation with St Mary’s Church, Alfreton in 1922, Mass was only available spasmodically, served by priest from other local parishes.

Father O’Dowd then purchased Thanet House, next to the church in Clay Cross & started the alteration & refurbishment of the church, which was completed by Father Joseph Henry.

OFFERTORY & SPECIAL COLLECTIONS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS

Some parishioners have asked how they can continue to make their offerings during the period our churches are closed.  This is much appreciated; our Parish needs your continued support at this time. Coronavirus has raised some very particular financial challenges for us.  Not only do we have no plate and envelope collection but we cannot hire out our parish rooms either.  We must, however, continue to pay for essentials such as our priests’ living expenses, the upkeep of our buildings and other ongoing costs.

Of course, we realise that the current emergency is affecting many people’s income and they may not be able to continue their level of offerings.  If this is the case, we fully understand, and our prayers are with you.

If you currently pay by standing order, this will continue as usual unless you tell your bank to vary it.

If you usually give by envelope or via cash in the collection, you could now donate via your online or telephone banking.  You can either make individual payments whenever you like, or you can set up a regular gift by Standing Order.  This can be stopped at any time, for example, if you wish to resume giving by cash or envelope once Sunday Mass is resumed.

For the purposes or setting up a regular gift via your online banking, the parish bank details are:

Account Name: Christ The King RCP

Account number: 03155671

Sort code: 30-92-59

Please put your name (e.g. D SMITH) in the payment reference so we know the gift is from you. This is particularly important if we have a signed gift aid mandate from you.  If you normally use numbered gift aid envelopes you should quote your envelope number as the payment reference (so D SMITH, the holder of envelope 19, would quote D SMITH ENV 19).

If you are a UK taxpayer, you also have the option of adding Gift Aid, whereby the UK government adds a further 25% to your donation.  Anyone wishing to set up a new Gift Aid arrangement should contact the parish office via email ctkchurch@sky.com as we are not able to process the usual paper applications at this time.

If you would like help to pay in this way, please simply email ctkchurch@sky.com .  Please provide your name and telephone number so that we can contact you.

Our parish relies on donations to stay open and provide care and support to everyone in our community. Now more than ever, please consider giving generously to support our mission and ministry. Thank you for your support.