History of Holy Family


The Parish of Holy Family was created in June 1970 by the separation of the Pensby and Thingwall districts from the Parish of Our Lady & St John, Heswall. This was as a response to the growing Catholic population in Pensby and Thingwall. The official decree was raised by the late Mgr P. A. Rees, Vicar General, Shrewsbury Diocese.

Main Developments and Events

1) Liturgical – Sunday Mass was first celebrated within the Parish at Thingwall Methodist church and also at St Michael’s CofE Church, Pensby. Weekday Masses were celebrated at the first, recently purchased, presbytery in Langdale Avenue, Pensby. Sunday Mass was then transferred to the newly built Ladymount School Hall from St Michael’s, Pensby in 1971. Our Parish presbytery moved to Pensby Road Thingwall at this time and a permanent chapel in the house resulted in the Bishop granting permission for the first retention of The Blessed Sacrament within our Parish.

2) Lay Readers were introduced in 1970: Eucharistic Ministers in 1981 and Altar Girls in 1992. The Sisters (FCJ) from Upton Convent came to Thingwall Methodist Church in the early years of the Parish to give instruction to the children of the Parish prior to the opening of Ladymount School. Our Permanent Deacon Rev Jeff Telford was ordained in July 2003.


The search for sites for a Parish Church had been ongoing since 1971 and although 14 sites had been “earmarked” for potential, various factors, including the anti-development intervention of a Local Councillor and the escalation of land prices to £60,000 per acre making the quest beyond the Parish means. Building costs also increased during this period by 250% in fifteen months. Major developments were achieved in 1975 following the sale of 491 Pensby Road and the purchase of 74 Kylemore Drive to coincide with the building of the chapel extension at Ladymount School.

The unexpected availability of a site in Pensby Road enabled the Parish to secure the purchase to assist future development. A further positive development had also been achieved with the Diocesan Trustees giving their permission for the building of a dual purpose Church, Parish Hall and Presbytery in December 1996. Due to financial constraints occurring shortly after, the Diocese had to sell off part of the land, and so only the Church was built and it was opened by Bishop Brian on March 19th 1999. The Parish Priest at that time was Fr David Long.

The original Church Sanctuary was re-ordered by Fr Pat O’Brien in August/September 2011, following flood damage to the Church which occurred earlier that year.


Reach Us


Our Lady & St. John

1 Boundary Lane
Heswall, Wirral
CH60 5RP



Holy Family

Pensby Road
Pensby, Wirral
CH61 9PQ




0151 342 6581
Parish Priest: father.stephen@ourladyandstjohn.org.uk
Deacon: jefftelford1@icloud.com
General Enquiries: contact@ourladyandstjohn.org.uk
Items for the Weekly Newsletter: contact@ourladyandstjohn.org.uk