History & Origins
In 1993, a Chapel of Ease was erected on a piece of land, in the village of Henham on the Hill, given by the De Steene family, and named after Saint Anthony of Padua. The Chapel was dedicated by the Bishop of Brentwood, Bishop Doubleday, on 24th September, 1933.
The chapel would be served from the adjacent parish of Saffron Walden, from 1933 to 1958 when a property adjacent to the Stansted Windmill, was purchased and converted into a church. Named after Saint Theresa of Lisieux, it was dedicated by Bishop Patrick Wall of Brentwood on 5th October 1958.
Both buildings would continue to be served from Saffron Walden until 1970, when our first Parish Priest, Father Donald Mills arrived, prior to Stansted becoming a separate parish within its own right. The installation of the new Parish of St. Theresa’s with the St. Anthony’s in Henham took place on 25th September 1970 and was conducted by Bishop Patrick Casey of Brentwood.
In 1982, a group of parishioners together with our parish priest, Fr. Joe Tuohey, travelled to the old Wembley stadium to participate in the Papal Mass, celebrated by His Holiness Pope John Paul II, on the occasion of his visit to the UK . In 1999, a report on the condition of St. Anthony’s Chapel in Henham resulted in its closure and subsequent demolition. A final service was held in the grounds on 13th June1999, the Saint’s feast day, after 66 years id faithful service to the community.
In 2000, proposals were prepared for a new church complex on land off High Lane, Stansted, donated by the Braeckman family. It would consist of a new church, a parish hall and a presbytery. The hall was completed first, and in December 2000 after the last Mass had been said in the old St. Theresa’s, the new hall was used as a church until early 2003.
The dedication of the new Saint Theresa’s took place on 5th October 2003 and was conducted by the Bishop of Brentwood, Thomas McMahon. In 2010, we celebrated 40 years of our new parish, and in 2020, our parish will complete half a century of service to Saint Theresa of Lisieux – 50 years!
Please see our attached Brief History leaflet.