Our Lady and St Joseph

The Catholic Church has had a presence in the area since at least Saxon times, with both All Saints (Stock) and St Mary’s (Buttsbury) being Catholic churches prior to the Reformation.

After the Reformation, a mission was founded in 1744, served by resident Jesuits priests, and up to 1831 Crondon Park Lodge was the centre of Catholic worship in the area.

There was then a gap until 1852, when Lilystone Hall became the centre of Catholic worship and in 1863 the chapel there was dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

In 1891, St Joseph’s Catholic School was built from designs by Peter Paul Pugin and opened on Mill Road, with a cemetery for Catholics being opened In 1898 in the grounds behind the school.

The school closed and the building was converted into a church in April 1937. On its Conversion the building took over the name of Our Lady of Mount Carmel from the Lilystone Hall chapel.

The dedication was changed to Our Lady and St Joseph in September 2001.

The present Church and its surroundings are of historic interest. The late village historian Donald Jarvis, writing in 1934, commented that the building was the best looking Victorian building in the village.

During its construction, evidence of an Iron Age settlement was found on the site, indicating that this was one the earliest settlements in Stock.

(Information, text and image by Charles Philips/Taking Stock – Catholic Churches of England & Wales)

Stock, Essex

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