On S. Augustine Webster, Barton-upon-Humber

It was in 1841 that Mr. Astrop, a convert to the Faith and a businessman from Hull, asked the vicar apostolic of the Eastern District, Mgr. Wareing, to send a priest to Barton. Mgr. Wareing instead combined the existing Catholic mission at Brigg, ten miles south of Barton, with a new foundation, and making the priest resident at Barton. About a year later, there was a priest at both locations. For shortage of secular priests, however, Mgr. Wareing attempted to hand both missions to the regular clergy and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate took up Brigg for several years, while Benedictines served Barton.

The first church at Barton was a converted cottage in Priestgate, perhaps made in 1842. The arrangement, with an added sanctuary and rood screen in 1854, lasted for nearly a century. A new church was begun in 1937 and opened the following year by Mgr. McNulty, the sixth Bishop, and in the presence of the archbishop of Liverpool. This second building later extended to four bays, with a large tower and distinctly short spire, built upon a rise, south of the town, the architect being Mr. J. Beard Foss of London. The new presbytery was built simultaneously, the whole built to a scale of a small abbey, rather than the parish church of a market town.

The original dedication of the mission was S. Augustine, Apostle of England, and the added dedication to our Lady was made with the opening of the new church in 1938, on ladn belonging to the Rosminian Sisters of Loughborough. The title of the church was changed in about 1984 to S. Augustine Webster, prior of the Carthusian monastery of Melwood in the Isle of Axholme, and one of the proto-martyrs of the English reformation. The second church being too difficult to maintain, it was knocked down and replaced with a smaller building, dedicated in 1988. The old presbytery was altered for use as a parish centre, since the parish lost its resident priest in 2001.

The mission already had its 'poor school' in 1860, opened by Father Lawrence Burge OSB at the Swan Inn, Fleet Gate. This was enlarged in 1878 and an independent school added two years later. The school was closed in 1905. The Ampleforth Benedictines from Fr. Burge in 1848 to Fr. James Parker and Fr. John Parker in 1949 served Barton until the parish was handed over to the Diocese. The Sisters of Mercy were resident at Holydyke and Castledyke from 1887 to 1889. The Sisters of S. Joseph of Peace briefly stayed in 1889 and 1890. The Rosminian Sisters of Providence arrived at Bardney Hall in 1930, managing a day and boarding school, until the convent closed in 1950.


Source: Canon A. P. Dolan, Good News for the East Midlands: an account of the background to, and the story of the Diocese of Nottingham, Tucann Books, 2018, pp. 50-2.