Saints Philip & James

SS Philip & James Church was built by Thomas Donnelly (A former Mayor of Bedford) and opened in September 1967. Prior to that, Masses had been said in Brickhill School and local businesses. The Parish was served from St Joseph and The Holy Child in Midland Road until 1969 when the first Parish Priest was inducted. The altar is granite from Ireland and came from the round chapel at Clapham built by the Nuns of the Convent of the Holy Ghost.

Saint Philip, Apostle:

St Philip was of Bethsaida in Galilee, and called by our Saviour to follow Him the day after St Peter and St Andrew. He meditated continuously on the law and the prophets, which disposed him for the important discovery of the Messiah in the person of Jesus Christ. He was obedient to the command to forsake all to follow Him and became thenceforth the inseparable companion of His ministry and labours.

Saint James the Lesser, Apostle:

St James, also known as James the Younger or James the Just was a cousin of Jesus and brother of St Jude Thaddeus. He was first Bishop of Jerusalem. St James was one of the first to whom Christ appeared after His resurrection. St Paul called him a ‘pillar’ of the Church.

Holy Cross Church Bedford

Holy Cross Church was built and opened in November 1957. It was meant to be a temporary building that would become the parish hall when a “proper” church was built. An Italian order of priests, the Scalabrini Fathers, moved in to say Mass for the large Italian community arriving in the area.

 In 1966 the side aisles were added to the church. It was slowly becoming a permanent parish church serving the east side of Bedford and the rural areas out to Great Barford. The Daughters of the Holy Spirit opened their convent in Bradgate Road in 1971. When the Scalabrini Fathers left Goldington in 1972, the Fathers of The Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (the Picpus Fathers) took over and served the parish until 2003.

 When they left, the Bishop appointed Father Tony Brennan as its first Diocesan Parish Priest.

 In October 2007, Holy Cross Church celebrated its 50th Anniversary. Bishop Peter Doyle, Bishop of the Northampton Diocese, celebrated Mass on Saturday 20th October. The church was consecrated with the sprinkling of holy water, the anointing with blessed oil and with incense. The evening was also a celebration for Billy Walsh, who was awarded the Bene Merenti medal by Bishop Peter Doyle, for forty years of service to the church. Mass on Sunday 21st October was celebrated by the Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark, Pat Lynch The Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Order ( had served Holy Cross parish for over 25 years. Bishop Pat Lynch also blessed and formally opened the new Pastoral Centre, built during the summer of 2007.

Click and open the timeline

YEAR          CLERGY                        ORDER

1957/58     John Thomson             Served from St Joseph & The Holy Child Church  

                   Brian Frost    

                   Michael Madden                      


1959          Angelo Susin               The Scalabrini Fathers

                   Walter Sacchetti

                   Aldo Montanari


1960          Angelo Susin

                   Giovanni Alessi

                   Alberto Vico


1961/63    Angelo Susin              In Holy Cross Church

                   Alberto Vico                 In Italian Mission – Woburn Road, Bedford

                   Umberto Marin            In Italian Mission


1964          Angelo Bordignon     In Holy Cross Church

                   Emilio Vaccaro           In Holy Cross Church

                   Alberto Vico                 In Italian Mission

                   Francesco Astegno    In Italian Mission

                   Umberto Marin           In Italian Mission


1965          Angelo Bordignon     In Holy Cross Church

                   Emilio Vaccaro           In Holy Cross Church


Italian Mission became a separate church – Santa Francesca Cabrini

1966/68    Angelo Bordignon

                   Antonio Paganoni

1968/69    Angelo Bordignon

1969/72    Angelo Susin

1971          John L Murphy           Picpus Fathers – The Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary

                   Mike Foley

                   Fintan Crotty

1974          Fintan Crotty

                   Peter Kellagher

                   Andy Wafer

                   Adrian Broeders

1975          Fintan Crotty

                   Jack McArdle

                   Andy Wafer

                   Adrian Broeders

                   Joe McGeady

1976/78    Fintan Crotty

                   Andrew Wafer

                   Adrian Broeders

1979          Andrew Wafer

                   Adrian Broeders

1980/82    Andrew Wafer

                   Padraig Lyons

                   Bro Anthony McMorrow

1983/84    Andrew Wafer

                   Raymond Tierney

                   Bro Anthony McMorrow

1985/86    Andrew Wafer

                   Raymond Tierney

1987/90    Chris McAneny

                   John Roche

1991/93    Chris McAneny

                   Chris O’Neill

                   Derek Laverty

1994          Adrian Broeders

                   Chris O’Neill

                   Derek Laverty

 1995/96    Fintan Crotty

                   Adrian Broeders

                   Fergal Maguire

1997          Fintan Crotty

                   Derek Laverty 

1998/99    Fintan Crotty

                   Tom Mullen

2000/01    Fintan Crotty

                   Pearse Mullen

2002          Fintan Crotty

                   Jerry White

                   Deacon Kieran Murtagh 

2003          Fintan Crotty

                   Kieran Murtagh

2003/11  Anthony Brennan       First Diocesan Priest at Holy Cross

2009/14  Patrick Hutton      

2011/17  Jonathan Hill      

2017/Now  Wayne Coughlin


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