St Peters Gloucester

Telephone Number (+44) 01452 523603

Dr. Case retired in 1876 and died in London in 1883. He was succeeded for two years by Abbe Bouvier. In 1878, Canon Eustace Barron was appointed and he remained until 1894 when he was transferred to the ProCathedral, Clifton. His first task was to build a Presbytery and he then completed the furnishing of the church. Stations of the Cross were erected; many of them donated by families whose names may be seen on bronze tablets beneath the Stations. The much admired statues of the Sacred Heart, Our Lady and St. Joseph - probably Bavarian - were supplied by Canon Barron. The stained glass windows in the Lady Chapel were erected about this time to the memory of Mrs. Gordon Canning. Canon Barron's major achievement was an extension to the school and a stone tablet in the old school wall records that the foundation stone was laid in 1893. Canon Barron died in 1916.

For a few months after Canon Barron's transfer to the Pro-Cathedral, the Parish was served by Fr. O'Shaughnessy and then towards the end of 1894 began the long and memorable service of Canon Joseph Bernard Chard. He was to be Parish Priest of St. Peter's for forty years. His zealous pastoral work in the parish is remembered by many parishioners. His task can now be seen as one of consolidation. He created and sustained a Parish Community. His humility and gentleness won the esteem and affection not merely of his own flock but of the whole City. If in later years dramatic developments were to take place, the foundations were well and truly laid by Canon Chard.

Canon Chard retired through ill health in April 1934 and in May of the same year was succeeded by Canon Matthew Roche. The years before the Second World War saw a great industrial development in and around the City with a consequent increase of population. This was reflected in the Catholic community and within a few years the number of Catholics doubled. This expansion continued during and after the War. The City also extended rapidly and outside the City perimeter new housing estates were built. Courage and vision were required to meet this new situation and fortunately Canon Roche did not lack either.

The story of the past fifty-four years is one of spectacular expansion to meet the growing needs of the City of Gloucester. Brockworth, Churchdown, Matson and Tuffley are all new Parishes with their own resident priest (Tuffley being the most recent).

During Canon Roche's pastorate one of the major problems, however, was school accommodation. Three new schools were built and one of them, St. Peter's High School, won a National Civic Trust Award for its innovative design. All three schools have been extended in recent years to provide for the growing needs of the Catholic Community in Gloucester.

It is worthy of note that the three pastorates of Canons Barron, Chard, Roche and English cover one hundred and thirty years of St. Peter's. They have all served since St. Peter's was consecrated and they span the whole period between Vatican 1 and Vatican II.

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