Story & photo: Caroline Harris
On Sunday 12th October, a beautiful sunny morning, St Catherine’s Church re-opened after major refurbishments. The congregation moved in a long procession from Pitsmoor Methodist Church, led by Father Albert and Bishop John.
The church looks magnificent and has been carefully restored whilst still maintaining original traditional features. On this splendid occasion, the church was full to capacity. Father Don’s return for the day was welcomed by a congregation of many nationalities and people of all ages.
After the service, hot food was provided at Pitsmoor Methodist Church, which had kindly allowed the use of their church during the restoration work.
History of St Catherine’s Church
The parish of St Catherine began in 1876 with a church and school in Andover Street to cater following the expansion of the city in the wake of the industrial revolution. By the very early part of the 1900s, the original church had been replaced by another and the school expanded. In 1926, the replacement church was superseded by the present one on Burngreave Road. It was, and still is, a focal point of the area. By the late 1930s, the parish population was in excess of 3500 and very often there was standing room only at many of the services.
Following the Second World War, there was a gradual re-housing of the population and later in the 1970s, further redevelopment of the area brought about a serious reduction in the parish population. The number of parishioners fell to some 600. However, in the past few years, the population is steadily on the increase, with up to 40% or more of the parishioners of a foreign nationality.