History

The parish of Holy Family was created in October 1970. On this date the Derby suburbs of Allestree and Quarndon were separated from St Mary’s Parish where many previous generations of parishioners from these areas had worshipped. A parish priest was appointed and land was purchased in Blenheim Drive, Allestree. On this land a church/hall was built which was dedicated in May 1972 by the then Bishop of Nottingham, Doctor Edward Ellis.

Loans from parishioners enabled the parish to pay a deposit on a nearby house as a presbytery. In the early days Mass was celebrated here during the week. The vicar and parishioners of the local Anglican church, St Nicholas, kindly offered the use of their hall for the celebration of Mass on Sundays until the church/hall was completed.

In 1994 and again in 1999 the building was extended and reordered to provide additional facilities.

The founding parish priest was Father Brendan O’Callaghan. His inspiration in establishing the parish was the teaching of the Second Vatican Council with its emphasis on the active role of the laity in the life of the parish. That grounding has stood the parish in good stead over nearly 40 years, particularly over the difficult period in the early 1990s when it lost its resident priest and became the pastoral responsibility of the priests at St Mary’s.

Despite not having a resident priest since then Holy Family has preserved its identity as a separate parish whilst sharing many activities and resources with St Mary’s. This is amply demonstrated in other pages on this website. It is suggested that the parish does present a good model of how a parish without a resident priest can survive and prosper when it has involved and active lay people working closely with a supportive parish priest.



Names and dates of Parish Priests:

Fr Brendan O’Callaghan 1970 - 1975

Fr Michael Stappard 1975 - 1980

Fr Jim Cahill 1980 - 1983

Fr Gerald Collins 1983 - 1989

Fr Philip Baker 1989 - 1992

Canon James Cantwell 1992 - 1993

Canon Timothy O’Sullivan 1993 - to date