Building of the Old Chapel

It was in 1933 Fr Redding (the parish priest at St Raphael’s, Surbiton) was given responsibility for the formation of a new parish in Tolworth and in 1934 he left St Raphael’s and became the full-time rector of Our Lady Immaculate parish.

The Old Chapel was the second building to be built on the site.   In some of the pictures below, you will see the Old Chapel being built with the completed Catholic Hall (built in 1934) standing proudly in the background.  This served as a Mass Centre and Community Hall.

Work started on the Old Chapel in 1936.  This chapel cost about £100 to build and the first Mass was said in it on December 8th 1936 with 50 people attending. From then on the Blessed Sacrament was reserved and daily Mass said in the Chapel. The volunteers however continued to work hard as the plans for the chapel became more ambitious. The final plan was for a building 39ft. by 18ft 6ins ‘complete with sacristy, electric light and probably central heating’. This was achieved with the hard work and devotion of the volunteers and the generosity of the people of the parish. Before it was completed, Fr Redding observed that the five hundred-odd people who passed each week by the chapel were filled with admiration at the thought of its being built by voluntary labour.

Below is a pictorial history taken from old photographs of the building of the Old Chapel.  You will see in some the original sanctuary panelling which was later moved to the Lady Chapel of the new church when the Old Chapel ceased to be used for Mass.   Additionally, you will observe, that the porch area of the Old Chapel must have come at a later date as an extension to the building.