St Mary’s: 1980 – 1999

On the advice of the appointed architect St Mary’s applied to the English Heritage for Grade II building status. St Mary’s and the hall were granted Grade II* listing by English Heritage in 1994.

A special PCC meeting was called for the 23rd February 1994 at which the PCC passed Resolutions A&B. The PCC asked the diocesan Bishop to place St Mary’s under the Episcopal charge of the Bishop of Fulham.

Fr David Sherwood became the 5th Incumbent of St Mary’s on the 20th December 1994. In the summer of 1995 Fr David wrote that the Third Provincial Episcopal Visitors [flying bishops] had been appointed.

 Father David - 5th Vicar of Kenton
Father David - 5th Vicar of Kenton

Planning the ‘Link’ between the Church and hall with the architect began in 1995. Priorities for the Link included being able to get to the hall without going outside and to provide access to toilets and building a toilet suitable for disabled people.

The faculties were granted in 1999 for plaques for Fr Shearing and Fr Brown and for the installation of the floodlighting. The blessing of the plaques and the turning on of the lights took place on the 5th December, the Feast of the Dedication. The floodlights would make St Mary’s more visible in the community which is socially constantly evolving.  A plaque for Fr Shearing was long overdue. We cannot know the depths of his despair in the service of this Parish that caused his death, but it is right to have a tangible sign of the memory of a very caring and gentle person. The plaque for Fr Brown was delayed until the ‘Link’ was completed. The sale of the Church of the Holy Spirit paid for the ‘Link’. It commemorates the Church as well as Fr Brown. The decision to close the Church of the Holy Spirit was a very painful one and the brunt of it was borne by Fr Brown.

The statue of the Holy Family in memory of Fr Brown was blessed by the Bishop at Petertide in 2001.