Aldershot Catholic Parish covers the whole of Aldershot and comprises the congregations of St Joseph's Catholic Church, Queen's Road and St Mary's Catholic Church, Belle Vue Road and the local Catholic community, including two outstanding Catholic Schools (St Joseph's Primary Academy and All Hallows Secondary School) which were both built by our parish.
We are part of the wider Pastoral Area of North East Hampshire within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth. Registered charity no. 1199568.
Our Parish Priest is Fr Rob Stewart who came to Aldershot in September 2023. He is assisted by Deacon Craig Aburn. For more information on our parish clergy, past and present, click here.
Aldershot Catholic Parish dates back to the 1860's when the Diocese of Southwark took over responsibilty for the Catholic population of around 1000 from the Army Chaplains who had previously cared for them. In 1867 a school room was opened in the High Street for 48 children. This increased the following year to 67. As a result, in 1869 the Bishop of Southwark, The Right Reverend Thomas Grant appointed Fr Thomas Purcell as the first Priest in Charge of the Aldershot Mission District which extended to a circumference of some 60 miles! A disused Public House on the corner of Alexandra Road and Cambridge Road (now flats) opposite the former Franciscan Convent was formally opened as a combined chapel and shool on 29th July 1869. Fr Purcell was forced to resign in 1871, his health broken by his labours, but not before he had purchased the plot of land on the corner of Queens Road and Edward Street where the current St Joseph's Church stands. In May 1882, the Diocese of Portsmouth was formed and Aldershot was moved from Southwark to become part of the new diocese. You can read more about the history of the parish here.
So, over 150 years later we still have a thriving Catholic Community in Aldershot with two churches - St Joseph's & St Mary's - and two schools, both built by the parish - St Joseph's Primary Academy and All Hallows Secondary School.
There is a Mass celebrated in the parish nearly every day of the year and all are welcome to join us whether Catholics or not, although Holy Communion may only be received by practising Catholics. For this week's services see our current newsletter.
If you are interested in becoming a Catholic, whether you are new to the Christian Faith or wish to come into Full Communion with the Roman Catholic Church, there are annual courses, normally beginning in September for Reception into the Church at Easter.
Each year we also run a First Holy Communion programme for baptised Catholic children in year 3 and above. This is designed for practising Catholics so that they may experience the fullness of the Holy Mass as communicant members of the Church. This programme runs as advertised.
The Parish also runs a Confirmation programme for young people, usually over 13, to complete the Rite of Initiation in the Church - Baptism, Holy Communion and Confirmation. The programme runs for a year before and after the administering of the Sacrament of Confirmation by the Bishop, so we usually offer this programme every other year.
Further information about all these Sacramental Preparation programmes can be obtained from the Parish Priest or Parish Office.
Catholic families who wish to have children baptised or Catholics who wish to be Married should contact the Parish Office.