Friday, 26 June 2015

St Gilberts Church

St. Gilbert's Church, Eton Wick (In the Parish of "Our Lady of Peace" Burnham): A short history

It was in 1954 that a Father Dunstan (formerly a Torpedo Boat Coxwain!!) encouraged Eton Wick's Catholics to strive to finance the construction of their own church in the village. At that time, Sunday morning mass was being celebrated in the Village Hall (for which the hire charge was 4 shillings per week and the clearing of Saturday night's debris); and, prior to that, villagers had made their way to 'Our Lady of Sorrows' at Eton. 

A committee was elected, a raffle held and the £3 raised was the first contribution to the fundraising. A few years (and a lot of jumble sales, bazaars and dances) later, construction commence, with the foundations being dug by the parishioners themselves. 

Ten years after Father Dunstan's challenge, on the day before Palm Sunday in 1964, the Roman Catholic Church of St. Gilbert was blessed by Bishop Leo Parker, assisted by the Prior and Chapter from the community of Canons Regular at Datchet. St. Gilbert's was built at a cost of £16,000 on land which was purchased for £1,500. 

by Teresa Stanton

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