St Mary of the Angels at 150 Years


St Mary of the Angels 150 Years CelebrationPost your stories and contribute to our celebration of 150 years of St Mary of the Angels!

Over this year, until 4th November 2015 we celebrate the 150th year of our church. Please use this page to share your memories or stories of St Mary of the Angels, no matter how small or inconsequential it may be for you.

Our aim is that through the year we build a picture of the community that has built this parish over the last 150 years and preserve these memories for the benefit of future generations of our community for the years to come.

To leave a comment please navigate to the bottom of the page and use the comment tool. Where possible please upload an image or picture to illustrate your story or memory – to do this click the ‘Choose File’ button at the bottom of the page to select and post your image.

Thank-you for your contribution and God bless you.

150 Jubilee International Mass and Shared Lunch on 1st March 2015

Thanks to all the people who helped to organise and to take part in the International Mass and Shared Lunch, particularly those who provided the “Cabaret”! The food we shared was terrific and the turn-out from across our various nationalities a testimony to our community.


Slideshow of the St Mary of the Angels 150 Consecration Service on 4th November 2014

3 thoughts on “St Mary of the Angels at 150 Years”

  1. My family came to Worthing in 1939 when I was a baby. My recollections of childhood include attendance at the 11.15 Mass on Sunday. A few times a year we went to an earlier Mass so as to receive Communion, since we had to fast from midnight.
    I recall queuing for Christmas midnight Mass. The line extended (from the main doorway) round to Gratwicke Road! This must have been soon after the war.
    My family usually sat in the Lady Chapel, gaining a sideways view of the main altar. Some High Masses were celebrated by three priests.
    In 1946 I made my First Communion in Sion Convent chapel, being a pupil there. I was Confirmed in the church by Archbishop Amigo in 1947, on a very rainy day when the roof leaked a little, just near where the Confirmandi had to kneel.
    Many years we had a French priest as a guest, who had to present his documents to the P.P. before he was allowed to say Mass. On one occasion the PP, Canon Westlake I think it was, said ‘Don’t bother me now, the bishop’s coming’. For some reason this struck me as amusing.
    I remember seemingly endless years of hearing about the weekly retiring collection for Chatsmore school. The words ‘school building fund’ still ring in my ears.
    Two of my brothers, Eric and Jimmy Mottram, were married in the church in 1959, and I married Brendan there in 1961. Fr. Dickie Veal officiated at our wedding, making it clear that it was we who conferred the Sacrament, not he. (We visited him in hospital not long before he died. He was in good spirits.)
    In 1977 my parents, Jacques and Marguerite Mottram, marked their Golden Wedding with a Mass celebrated by Mgr. Wall. It was a most joyful occasion with family and friends.
    Both my parents had their Requiem Masses at St. Mary’s, in 1979 and 2003, so the church had been the scene of many significant moments in my family’s life.
    Gudule Mottram, in Frome, Somerset.

  2. I was baptised in St Mary’s in 1952 and confirmed there by Archbishop Cyril Cowderoy.

    I attended the church as parishioner, altar server and unofficial assistant to organist Bert Joy until the family began attending St Charles Borromeo in about 1963. I have fond memories especially of Fr Dickie Veal (who died last year), and of Frs Sullivan and McInerney. There were three priests in Gratwicke Road in those days! Then came Mgr Wall… In the late 50s and early 60s I would accompany Dad up into the organ loft for Sunday High Mass (11.15) where he sang in the choir under dear old Bert Joy, my headmaster at the primary school. I would get the organ ready and switch it on (!) and tidy it up afterwards. Sadly and coincidentally I was present as a visitor to St Mary’s (I had by then been away from Worthing for 20 years) at the Sunday evening Mass in early 1994 when the old instrument wheezed its last.

    In the early 60s my day for serving at the 10 o’clock weekday Mass was a Thursday: there were half a dozen of us at the primary school in our little team. The sacristan then was the kindly little Miss Rule, who invariably left two Rolos out on the table for us in the sacristy. After our server training, mostly given by Frs Sullivan and McInerney we were given a final polish and rehearsal by the rotund and very strict Jesuit who used to spend his summer holidays in Worthing: I think his name might have been Sullivan too, but can’t remember.

    Oh yes, many happy memories. Dick Bateman, Chapel-en-le-Frith, High Peak, Derbyshire

  3. The St Mary of the Angels 150 Jubilee Prayer:

    What we celebrate, O God, in the life of this church is yours not ours.
    Yours its strength and hope, Yours its faith and its action.

    In this Jubilee Year we give thanks for the past and ask you to send your Spirit upon us to rejuvenate us for the future.
    Take the strength and weakness of this church, and let both bring its people nearer to you.
    Take the excitement and the routine of this church and let both be means by which your work is done.
    Now in worship we offer you your own. Christ be praised!
    St Mary of the Angels, pray for us.


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