St Mary Magdalene
A New Parish
In 1973, considerable alterations were made to St Mary Magdalene church. The Sacristy and Confessional at the front of the church, inside the door on the right, were replaced by a new Sacristy and Confessional at the back of the church, which were connected to a newly built presbytery.

The wall behind the altar, which had been flat, had an alcove built into it in the middle, which has improved the look of it enormously. A door was also added to it, leading through to the Sacristy and the presbytery, which were built behind the church.

The windows in the high walls either side of the porch, in a lattice work of stone, were removed so that a toilet and boiler room could be built on the side of the porch. Father Connolly asked the builders to remove the windows intact, if they could, so that the windows could be added to the side walls of the church, near the entrance, to create more light. Unfortunately it was not possible, so plain windows were added instead.

When the presbytery was built in 1973, Fr Connolly moved there from the presbytery in Wolverton and two assistant priests moved into the Wolverton presbytery on May 29th. They were Fr Reginald Brown and Fr Michael Turner, both of the Canons Regular of the Immaculate Conception (CRIC), although Fr Michael was only there a few months before he was asked to return to a previous parish and was then replaced by Fr James Cassidy (CRIC).

These two priests had been sent to start the new parish of Stantonbury but they lived at Wolverton and also looked after the Wolverton part of the parish until 1977. St Mary Magdalene and St Francis de Sales officially became two separate parishes on 24th January 1981.

The interior of St Mary Magdalene church in October 2000.

If you look closely, you can see that the church was being repainted, but the colour scheme has not changed.
Compare the wall behind the altar in the picture above to the picture below. These alterations were part of the changes made in 1973. The door on the right leads through to the Sacristy and Presbytery.
This picture of the interior of St Mary Magdalene church was taken before the building alterations in 1973.
Another difference in this old photo, to the modern photograph above, is the altar.

To see a colour photo of the old altar, click here.

St Mary Magdalene church - the photograph was taken in November 2000
The honeycomb windows apparent in the old photo below have become solid wall. In front of this are the toilet and boiler room added in 1973.

The window visible on the side wall was added in 1973 to make up for the loss of the honeycomb windows, which let light into the body of the church. There is a matching window on the opposite side.

Fr Connolly wanted to preserve the old windows and install them in the side wall but, unfortunately, they could not be removed intact.

Compare the differences in the walls to the side of the porch in these two photographs. Did you notice the addition of the flagpole?
An exterior view of St Mary Magdalene church prior to 1973