Beginning of the end for the old Parish Church run by the White Fathers :

(source: Vincent Celano)

13th July 1963 :
Bishop Craven arrives at the old Parish Church
to lay the foundation stone for the church that will replace it.

(source: Vincent Celano)

Michael O'Brien is the altar server on the left—and Vincent is peeping out from the church door.
Fr Peter Moore, the new parish priest, is standing beside the Bishop, blocked from view.

Taken from The Universe, May 1974

CARDINAL Heenan presided at a concelebrated Mass last Sunday when the 10-year old church of Our Lady Queen of Apostles, Heston, Middlesex, was consecrated by his auxiliary, Bishop Mahon, and Bishop McCoy WF, a former parish priest.

The 450-seater church—near the M4 and a familiar sight to London Airport travellers—cost about ?70,000, and was opened in October 1964 by Fr Peter Moore, who has been its parish priest for the past 14 years.

The church's three altars were consecrated by Bishop Mahon, Bishop McCoy and Mgr David Norris, VG.

Photo: The Cardinal, as he made his way into the church

During the Mass, Cardinal Heenan presented papal Bene Merenti medals to church workers Mr Harry Tait and Mrs Victoria Rose, for their long and devoted service to the parish.

Heston parish was founded by the White Fathers in 1928 at the request of Cardinal Bourne. Fr Joseph Laane was first parish priest, and Mass was offered in the priest's house. Bishop McCoy—a former missionary in Africa who now lives in North Wales—was Heston's parish priest from 1935 - 37.

The following Parish Newsletters were kindly contributed by Andrew Rampling, a long-time parishioner. These broadsheets precede the weeks leading up to the Consecration on Sunday, May 19th 1974, and provide a useful insight into parish activities and events that took place all those years ago :

5th May 1974

12th May 1974

19th May 1974

Note: It is hoped that more information will surface about the days when the parish was run by the White Fathers.

  • Dozens of White Fathers resided at this parish during its history — many for 'Rest and Recreation' after a period spent in the missions, awaiting a new posting. Some were in poor health, of course. Many went on to work at The Priory and other seminaries. The names include Fr Collins (now in retirement at Ealing), Fr (later Bishop) Walsh, Fr Prentice, Fr Rice, Fr Maguire, Fr Briody, Fr Lea, and Fr Bradley.

    They created a thriving parish community and were very popular. The church was always full to bursting and although people were very sad to see it close, it was generally accepted that a much larger church was needed. The old church was demolished and replaced by The Rosary - a Catholic Primary School. The new church was built close by in the grounds which were once a convent for the White Sisters.

    Two years ago the parishioners mounted a display of memorabilia associated from 'the old days' in the new church, and we are hoping to contact the organisers so that it can be reproduced on this website.

    • Harry Tait (RIP) was the father of John and Paul Tait, whom many of you will remember as fellow students from the fifties and sixties. (We hope to have their contact details soon).
    • John Morton (St Columba's 1949 - 50 and The Priory 1950 - 53) and his brother Andrew came from this parish. (see the CONTACTS section)
    • Fr Paul (Francis) Moody's mother was a parishioner.
    • John and Paul West (The Priory, in the fifties) were from this parish.
    • John Healey — whom I last saw at a Priory reunion in 1965 (with Terry Pettit, Mick Mearns and Paul Tait), was a parishioner in my time, who attended St Columba's Junior Seminary for a time.
    • Adrian Lance (originally from Liverpool) who was at The Priory in the mid forties, now lives in the Heston area. (see the CONTACTS section)
    • Fr Owen McCoy originally came from the Liverpool area. The following information about him is recorded in Peter Finn's database: The Priory in 1927; St Mary's, Autreppe, in Belgium 1927 - 28; Maison Carée, Algiers, 1928 - 29; Thibar, in Tunisia, 1929 - 33. (see the OBITUARIES section)

Any further information that you might have would be most welcome.

Did you belong to a parish that was once run by the White Fathers — and have you any reminiscences or material that you would like to share with us?

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