|St Mary Magdalene|
|This one? No, this one!|
|It having been decided that a separate church was needed in Stony Stratford to cater for that part of St Francis de Sales' parish, Fr. Wilf Johnson bought the site of a house at number 109 in the High Street for this purpose. It was reported in the parish news in the spring of 1956:
"And now we face the future with very good news. The Beale family have most generously offered a large sum of money to provide a church for Stony Stratford...A suitable site has been found and negotiations for sale are in progress. Planning permission has been obtained."
However, before any plans could be made, the site of another house became available. This was a large Georgian property at number 105 High Street, St Oswald's House, previously owned by Dr and Mrs Douglas Bull.
It had been sold and was to be converted into a nursing home but, before the work started, the main part of the roof collapsed and the building was condemned.
Father Johnson sold the site at number 109, bought the site at number 105, had plans drawn up by architects and commissioned the building of the church at a cost of £9,000. There were also the additional costs of buying the site and demolishing the buildings.
The following parish report was given in the spring of 1957:
"It is with very great pleasure that we can now report the purchase of St Oswald's, Stony Stratford, as the site for our new church. Contracts have already been exchanged and subject to planning permission, it is hoped demolition of the existing building will commence in the very near future. This very attractive site, situate on the main Watling Street, is eighty feet wide and 300 feet deep, is flanked on one side with a wide carriage way leading directly on to the main road. It is almost equidistant between Bletchley and Towcester and will provide yet another Mass centre on the A5. We are indebted to so many who, in various ways are already accumulating funds towards the cost and plans are well ahead for a Garden Fete at Stratford in June, and a Bazaar in Wolverton in November, two major efforts from which sterling results are anticipated."
|Stony Stratford still formed part of the Wolverton parish and many people from the parish got involved in fund raising to make up the difference between the original gift of £4,000 and the £9,000 cost of the church.
It took 5 years of hard work to raise the extra money. The parishioners held a Jumble Sale each spring and autumn, a monthly Whist Drive, plus a Bazaar held every other year. Each summer there was a Fete in the church grounds. There was also a Football Lottery, and later there were Bingo sessions in the loft of the Cock Hotel. Parishioners also gave interest free loans to the parish.
|St Oswald's House, Stony Stratford High Street|