St Mary Magdalene
Major Events
Centenary of St Francis de Sales Church - 1967
St Mary Magdalene Church remained part of the parish of St Francis de Sales in Wolverton until they were officially separated into two parishes on 24th January 1981, although they became financially independent from each other in September 1979.

1967 was an eventful year for the parish as, not only was there a change of parish priest, but it was also the centenary of the building of the church of St Francis de Sales, which was celebrated on 27th October.

The Mass of Thanksgiving was concelebrated by His Lordship, Bishop Charles Grant of Northampton, and nine priests, six of whom were from churches which, a century previous, were in the area served from Wolverton - Newport Pagnell, Bletchley, Woburn Sands, Leighton Buzzard, Aylesbury and Buckingham.

The Master of Ceremonies was Fr Gerald Moorcroft of Northampton Cathedral. Also present were Franciscan Fathers from Stony Stratford, Fr A Crook, Fr Brady, Monsignor Conlon from Thornton College and Monsignor G Collins, Vicar General of the Diocese.

The church had been newly decorated inside, furnished with new Stations of the Cross and the High Altar re-gilded for the occasion.

St Francis de Sales church - a small but beautiful church. It was built to cater for the growing Roman Catholic population following the opening of the railway works in Wolverton.

The wall above the altar has recently (in the year 2000) been painted with an impressive mural. - see below

After the Mass, the Bishop, clergy and parishioners went to the Craufurd Arms Hotel, where a buffet meal was served. Fr Connolly, who had been at the parish only two weeks at the time, acting as the host, thanked the Bishop for coming to join in the celebrations, welcomed the visiting priests and also his predecessor Fr Johnson.

Fr Connolly thanked the parishioners for the welcome they had shown him and congratulated them for working so hard to make the church so beautiful and in organising the centenary function.

Amongst other speakers, Mr A Rickaby paid tribute to Fr Johnson, the recently departing parish priest, emphasising the tremendous mark he had made on the parish and his kindness and helpfulness. Mr Rickaby, on behalf of the people of the parish, presented Fr Johnson with a cheque and a silver watch and welcomed Fr Connolly to the parish.

Fr Johnson, thanking the parishioners, recalled that Wolverton was his first parish, having come to it from the boys' orphanage at Shefford.

"To come here is like coming home, and will be for many years, for life is like that and the parish so much like a family." he said. "It is home to me, where you have brought me up. So much has come from this town of ours and many churches, now independent, grown from it..."

Fr Johnson was then given a standing ovation.

Bishop Grant is in the centre of the picture. Father Connolly is on the Bishop's right, at the front. Father Wilf Johnson is on the far right of the photograph, to the Bishop's left.
The new mural in St Francis de Sales church, commissioned in the year 2000
"Do not look forward to what might happen tomorrow; the same Everlasting Father who cares for you today, will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginings."
A quote from St Francis de Sales (1567 - 1622) who was born in Savoy in France. He wrote two books, which became famous, Introduction to the Devout Life and Treatise on the Love of God.

St Francis de Sales is the Patron Saint of journalists and writers.