Surrey Churches Index

A guide to Churches and Graveyards in Surrey for family historians

Camberwell, Sacred Heart

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image of the Camberwell, Sacred Heart church
© No Swan So Fine, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Historical notes on English Catholic missions, Kelly, Bernard W. (Rev), 1907:
The mission was opened on Easter Monday 1860, when Mass was said at De Crespigny Lodge, Denmark Hill, by the late Fr. Claude Bernin, of Lyons. The district was then largely one of strawberry fields and market gardens. The next chapel was at Chepstow Cottage, which also served as the presbytery. This in turn was superseded by a chapel formed out of two or three cottages in Thomas Street, now Becket Street.

A lay committee ably managed the temporalities of the mission, and a flourishing school was commenced under Mr. William Geoghegan. In 1862 a temporary church was erected at a cost of £'600, and opened by Bishop Morris. Fr. Bernin left in 1864, and for a time the church was served on Sundays by Fr. Power, afterwards of Canterbury. The next rector, Fr. Ed. Cahill, enlarged the church, and introduced the Sisters of Notre Dame as teachers in the girls' and infants' schools. The temporary church of 1862 was replaced by the present one in the Camberwell New Road, opened by Bishop Morris, February 16, 1870. [...]

A second aisle and clerestory to the church were opened by Bishop Danell, August 12, 1872, the sermon being preached by Arclibishop Manning. The presbytery, for three priests, was completed in 1875. Fr. McGrath, under whom these building developments were carried out, was appointed to the mission in 1869, and in 1882 became Canon of Southwark. He removed to Weybridge 1898, when he was succeeded by Canon W. Murnane, of Red Cross Street, the present rector.

The church was destroyed by enemy action in 1941 and the present church built on the same site ca. 1952.
There is no graveyard at the Sacred Heart church. We know of only three Roman Catholic cemeteries in the London area, St. Mary's in Kensal Green, St. Patrick's in Leytonstone, and St. Mary Magdalene in Mortlake.

Many local cemeteries may have Roman Catholic sections see

The Roman Catholic Church of the Most Precious Blood is located in the Anglican ecclesiastical parishan ecclesiastical parish is an administrative area within the Church of England or Roman Catholic church. It is distinct from the civil parish, a local government unit in England of Kennington St John the Divine with St. James. However it stands near the junction with two other Church of England ecclesiastical parishesan ecclesiastical parish is an administrative area within the Church of England or Roman Catholic church. It is distinct from the civil parish, a local government unit in England - Camberwell St. Giles with St. Matthew, and, Camberwell St. Michael and All Angels & All Souls with Emmanuel.

The Church of the Sacred Heart is in the London Borough of Southwark.

Unless otherwise stated the dates for the creation of parishes are taken from Youngs, Frederick. A. Guide to the Administrative Units of England; Royal Historical Society: London, 1979 volume 1 Southern England.

The Southwark Index will show you all the churches and cemeteries we know of in the London Borough of Southwark . If we have missed any or you are looking for a church or graveyard that might no longer exist do please let us know using the email at the bottom of this page

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Church web site

Taking Stock



British History Online

Surrey History Centre notes on Roman Catholic Records


Catholic Family History Society

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark

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Page last updated: 7 March 2022
next review March 2026

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