Who We Are

We are a small rural Roman Catholic parish, within the Diocese of Brentwood in north Essex serving 14 villages: Berden, Birchanger, Berden, Broxted, Burton End, Clavering, Elsenham, Henham, Manuden, Quendon, Rickling Green, Stansted Mountfitchet, Ugley and Widdington

We are part of a deanery of five parishes: Stansted Mountfitchet, Saffron Walden, Thaxted, Dunmow, Hatfield and Broad Oak.

The parish is blessed to have a Priest-in -Charge, a Permanent Deacon and a part time Parish Administrator.

The site upon which the Church complex is built was donated to the Parish by a Parishioner and completed in 2002. There is good access for disabled parishioners and visitors and ample parking. The Church is spacious and we welcome new parishioners and visitors.

A bit of history

The first Catholic Church to be built in this area in recent times was St. Anthony’s in Henham, erected in 1933 on land donated by the De Steene family. In 1958 an additional site was purchased at Millside, Stansted. The same year the Mill House at Millside was bought and turned into a House-Church. Eventually these buildings became inadequate for a growing parish community and changing needs.

The existing parish complex at High Lane consisting of the Church, the Parish Centre and the Presbytery was made possible because of the generosity of the Braeckman family who donated the land for the development.

The church is in the style of an Essex barn and the architect is a local man, Jim Boutwood. The interior of the church is modern and the liturgical layout and artwork was created by the artist Stephen Foster.

Diocese of Brentwood

The Diocese of Brentwood was formed in 1917 when it was separated from the Archdiocese of Westminster. Initially, the Diocese was called ‘Essex’ until it was decided where the new Bishop would reside. The Diocese of Brentwood was formally erected on July 20th, 2017 with the See in the town of Brentwood and Bishop Ward its first Ordinary.

Covering an area of 3,959km² our Diocese encompasses rural, urban and inner-city settlements. We have 12 Deaneries with 82 Parishes. Our current Bishop, Alan Williams, SM, was appointed the seventh Brentwood Bishop on April 14th, 2014 and consecrated on July 1st 2014 by Cardinal Vincent Nichols.

St. Theresa of Lisieux - The Little Flower

Saint Theresa of Lisieux was born on 2nd January 1873. She felt an early call to religious life, and, overcoming various obstacles, in 1888 at the early age of 15, she became a nun and joined two of her elder sisters in the cloistered Carmelite community of Lisieux, Normandy. For nine years she lived the ordinary life of a Carmelite Sister combining prayer, work and recreation.

The simplicity and profundity of Theresa’s approach to God and the things of the sprit, which she called her little way, has influenced millions of people all over the world.

She loved flowers and saw herself as the “little flower of Jesus,” who gave glory to God by just being her beautiful little self among all the other flowers in God’s garden. Because of this beautiful analogy, the
title “little flower” remained with St. Theresa.

Theresa Martin died of tuberculosis on 30th September 1897 at just 24 years of age. Her last words, to the assembled sisters, before she died were an expression of her Faith and Love of God; she looked at her
crucifix and said “I am not dying, I am entering eternal life”. Her feast day is celebrated on 1st October.

“What matters in life is not great deeds, but great love.” St. Theresa of Lisieux