Four Churches working together, as they follow Christ and serve the people of Bilston, Darlaston, Willenhall and Wolverhampton (East Park) under the Patronage of St. John Henry Newman.
Four Churches working together, as they follow Christand serve the people of Bilston, Darlaston, Willenhalland Wolverhampton (East Park) under the Patronage of St. John Henry Newman.

The History of Holy Trinity, Bilston

It began its life as a chapel in 1833 in gothic style and enlarged in 1845.  Brick with stone and buff terracotta detailing.  John Henry, later Cardinal, Newman, was assistant priest here in c.1849.

 

The part of the building to the right, with the rather elaborate, gabled facade, was originally the school.  It is now used as a church hall.  The complex includes a fairly modern (1960s?) presbytery behind the church and a modern social club to the rear.  It always has been one of the great community centres of Bilston and remains so today.

 

After Catholic emancipation in 1829, when Catholics were allowed to build public churches, Bilston was not slow in joining in.  But it is said that the immediate motivation for the promotion of a new church was that, during the disastrous cholera epidemic of 1832, three Catholic priests from Wolverhampton, Fathers O'Sullivan, Mostyn and Ross, did such sterling work in the town that local Catholics were moved to ask for their own church.  Father O'Sullivan seems to have been a prime mover in this and he managed to collect £1,800 for the cause. The site was bought from a Mrs. Price, work started and the church was opened on 11th September 1834.  The first priest was Father Thomas Sing who soon got Father George Fox as an assistant priest.  It was Fox who promoted the building of the school (the building with the curly gables to the right of the photo at the head of this page). 

 

In 1845 it was decided to enlarge the church by the addition of a chancel.  This was designed by Augustus Welby Pugin - but it seems that, if there every was any typically Pugin elaboration in its decoration, it has long since gone. 

 

In 1849 there was another disastrous outbreak of cholera when the priest, Father John Sherlock, temporarily in charge due to the illness of the parish priest, distinguished himself by his selfless devotion, which included carrying the sick to hospital on his back.  The event is also remembered for the fact that one of the priests who came to assist him was later to become Cardinal Newman.  The statutory listing refers to him as an Assistant Priest but it was only a temporary appointment and Newman was in Bilston for about three weeks. 

 

The church and its school was an important educational and social centre and remains so to this day, thought the school has moved out to a new site and its building is used as a church hall.

 

The church and hall have been in a bad way recently.  The parish is not a rich one but the congregation made great efforts and raised the sums necessary to repair the church roof, make the church wind and watertight, and to redecorate it

throughout. The Hall was completlety refurbished in 2018

Print Print | Sitemap
© stnewmancluster. Co: St. Joseph's Church, Stowheath Lane, Wolverhampton. WV1 2QN