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Our Lady of Loreto and St Winefride's, Kew
Our Lady of Loreto and St Winefride's, Kew

Our Lady of Loreto and St Winefride's is the parish church for the Roman Catholic parish of Kew Gardens in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. The church is located at 1 Leyborne Park in Kew.

History and description

The Society of Mary first established a Catholic mission in a temporary chapel at 14 Kew Gardens Road, which opened for public worship on 26 October 1898 with Father Michael Cummins as the first parish priest, and was named Loreto House.[6][7][8] The Society of Mary continued to serve the parish until 1984.[9]

The church is dedicated to both Our Lady of Loreto and Saint Winefride. The founder of the Society of Mary had made a pilgrimage to the Loreto shrine in Italy in 1833 after asking for the Pope's approval to establish the Society; and Saint Winefride was the favourite saint of one of this church’s principal local benefactors, Miss Frances Elizabeth Ellis (1846–1930) of Clapham Park, whose inheritance from her father, a wealthy Brighton businessman, enabled her to help found many churches.[10][11][12]

Designed by the architects Scoles & Raymond,[5][1] the church was opened in 1906 and the side aisles, baptistery and chapels were added in 1968.[8] The sanctuary was remodelled in 1977[4][8] and the church was refurbished and decorated in 1998.[13] A parish hall, which also includes a smaller meeting room, is located next to the church.

After a bequest in 1979 by a parishioner, Mrs Moya Rinkenback, paid off the church's debts, the church was dedicated and consecrated on 27 April 1979 by Archbishop Michael Bowen, the Archbishop of Southwark.[4]

The parish priest, since October 2018, is Father Patrick Lynch.[14] Mass is held every morning and also on Saturday evenings.[15] The parish issues a weekly newsletter which is available online.[16]

Notable congregants

Second World War Royal Air Force fighter pilot and flying ace Brendan "Paddy" Finucane (1920–1942), whose family lived at 26 Castlegate, Richmond,[17] was a former altar server at the church.[18]


A school for infants, St Winefride's School, which was associated with the church and parish, operated from the 1910s[19] until the early 1950s.[20]


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