St Mary Magdalene
Laying the Foundation Stone
Monsignor Leo Parker, the Bishop of Northampton at that time, into whose diocese Stony Stratford fell, laid the foundation stone of the church on Saturday 1st March 1958. About 200 people attended the ceremony, with Friars from St Bernardine's Church, Buckingham, leading the singing with St Francis de Sales' church choir.

The following extract is from the Wolverton Express dated Friday, 7th March 1958:

"After blessing the cross where the altar will stand, the Bishop proceeded to the foundation stone, which is at the junction of the Sanctuary and the body of the church. The inscription on the stone (in Latin) reads: 'I (the stone) was placed into position to the honour of St Mary Magdalene by Leo, Bishop of Northampton'.

"The Bishop sprinkled the foundation stone with holy water, and proceeded to each section of the church and prayed. Returning to the foundation stone, the Bishop intoned the hymn 'Veni creator spiritus' (Come Holy Spirit), which was taken up by clergy, choir and congregation.

"About a dozen clergy from neighbouring parishes were present, with Father John Reffitt, DFC, MA, the Bishop's secretary, superintending the arrangements. The Bishop was assisted by Deacon, the Rev E Golston, Woburn Sands and Sub-Deacon, the Rev P Carey, Bletchley.
"The Rev Wilfrid Johnson, Priest at Wolverton, told the "Express":

" 'It is a great joy that the Catholic Church has returned to Stony Stratford under the same patronage as pre-Reformation days and to virtually the same spot on which the old Catholic Church of St Mary Magdalene stood.'

"The new church is to cost approximately £8,000 and will have an overall length of 78 feet, with the body of the church 63 feet and porch, sacristy and choir loft covering 14 and a half feet.

The Foundation Stone which reads "I was placed into position to the honour of St Mary Magdalene by Leo, Bishop of Northampton on March 1st 1958"
"Gifts from the Beale family will cover half the total cost of the demolition and building of the church. The Bishop presented a cheque for £25 on Saturday from the diocese and other collections brought the total to £95.

"It is hoped that the new church will be ready for Mass to be celebrated on July 22nd, the feast of St Mary Magdalene."

Will the church be ready? Go to the next page to find out!