S. Theresa, Birstall

Published 4th of February 2020

53 Front Street, Birstall, Leicester LE4 4DQ

Deanery of Leicester West

Clergy: Rev. Fr. Ted Mullen IC

Telephone contact: 0116 292 9939

E-mail contact: theresa.sacredheart@gmail.com

Mass timings: Saturday, 18.30; Sunday 9.30; Holy days, 19.00.

Confessions: Saturday 17.45.

Chairman of the pastoral council: Mr. Gordon Gibson.

Safeguarding representatives: Mr. J. Mumford, Mrs. L. Joyce.

History: The story begins with the Rosminian Father John Fevez, who was managing the Mission of Barrow-cum-Sileby in 1938, a community of about fifty based at the Hillsborough school on Curzon Avenue. The Soar valley missions had previously served either from Loughborough or from the Ratcliffe College. Birstall needed its own resident clergy and seemed ideal for a college of priests looking after the whole nest of villages in the valley, and the new housing estates that would appear in the area after the second World War. Fr. Denis Horgan of Grace Dieu became the first rector at Birstall, and bought a site on Wanlip Lane, while the Birstall Social Club was used as a Mass centre. The original combination hall-chapel that was begun in 1940 by Harlow of Long Whatton and dedicated to S. Theresa by Mgr. McNulty, the sixth Bishop, on the 12th of January; soon afterwards, Fr. Horgan went into residence on Wanlip Lane as the first parish priest. In 1943, a more convenient presbytery was established on Front Street, with accommodation for an assistant priest; Syston was now added to the parish, with Birstall and Rothley, and in 1947 Barrow-on-Soar (Barrow was to be removed later, in the 1990s). The community at Birstall now numbered three priests. A new church building, largely funded by the Murphy family, was opened on Front Street in 1988, with a parish hall between church and presbytery. The parish of Birstall today retains the chapel at Rothley, independent from the conjunction of Sileby and Syston.

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. 55-6.