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Latimer Road

London SW19 1EP


The Church was built in 1905 to meet the needs of the Catholics in South Wimbledon who were meeting at St Mary’s Roman Catholic school from 1882 for mass. The architect Frederick Walters had also designed the school and the Roman Catholic seminary at Wonersh near Guildford. The Jesuit Fathers staffed the parish until 1961, when control was passed to the Archdiocese of Southwark.

The Church has been added to during the years, the stained glass was added in the 1980s, the altar was moved forward and lighting, central heating and some internal reordering has been done. The Church is a grade II listed building and is in good condition according to the Architect’s report.

The hall in nearby Bridges Road was built around the same time as a Catholic institute and has continued to be a parish hall, renovated in 2004. It is now used for children’s parties, Polka theatre rehearsals, the bingo and mothers and toddlers club. It is too near houses for music driven parties.

The parish serves the people of South Wimbledon and provides sacramental preparation for people living in the area. Many are involved as ministers and readers, as well as collecting, cleaning, counting, flowers and the sacristy team.

The parish has changed from being predominantly workers on the railways and servants of the big houses. People like Wimbledon because of the good access to London, the apparent safety, good shops and restaurants. The parish reflects the London Catholic experience of bringing together people of many nations, many are young, the parish help around 20 couples to prepare for marriage each year mostly going “home” to Ireland, South Africa, parts of England and Wales and more and more other countries.


Her name was originally Brewa in Welsh. The name Wine fride comes from the words for a white throat, a reminder of the terrible attack that happened to her. St Winefride is also known as Gwenffrewi. The Gaelic meaning of her name is friend of peace. She was born c.600 at Holywell in Wales. Her parents wanted to protect her from a corrupt world and guided her to always fear God. Under the teaching of her uncle St Beuno her faith and love of God grew stronger.

Winefride was a beautiful and intelligent woman. Caradoc the son of the neighbouring Prince Alen became obsessed by her beauty. Even though Brewa had decided not to take any man for her husband but to devote herself totally to God, Caradoc intended to ask for her hand in marriage. He went to see her and found her alone in her parent’s house as they were attending Mass. She rejected his advances and Caradoc’s rage grew stronger. Fearing for her innocence she fled the house. Realising this Caradoc pursued her, his anger growing all the time. He caught up with her outside the church where her parents were hearing Mass. Drawing his sword he severed her head. A well sprang up at the spot where her head landed. St Beuno was saying Mass at the time came out of the church along with her parents. Discovering the severed head he placed it back with the body and covered it with his cloak. After he had finished saying Mass he went back to the body and offered fervent prayer to God. The cloak was then removed and Winefride awoke as if from a deep sleep. A circle around her neck was the only mark left on her. Seeing Caradoc unrepentant, St Beuno invoked the chastisement of heaven whereupon the ground opened up and swallowed Caradoc.

St Winefride continued to live a holy existence. She became the abbess of a convent built on her father’s land. A chapel was erected over the well. Winefride went to Gwytherin, Denbighshire, near the source of the river Elwy. It was a remote place where only Welsh was spoken. Winefride was widely acknowledged as being a living saint on earth. She stayed as the abbess until her own death, of natural causes, in c.655. Her feast day is observed on the 3rd of November. Her relics were taken to Shrewsbury, England in 1138. In 1540 King Henry VIII ordered that the shrine be destroyed and her relics scattered. Some of these were taken to Rome but were returned to England in 1852.