This is the Catholic Parish for Wakefield, north of the river. It includes the City Centre and the traditional City residential areas around it to north, east and west, together with the villages and townships to the north as far as the metropolitan district boundary. This, the M1 Motorway and the River Calder form the parish boundaries.
About 750 people attend Mass every weekend: there are services and meetings every day.
The parish includes two churches, shown above- St Austin’s in the City Centre, built in 1828 and one of the oldest churches in our Diocese of Leeds: it was the first Catholic church built in the area since the Reformation and is regarded by many as Wakefield’s “mother church”. English Martyrs church was built in 1957 to serve the western suburbs.
St Austin’s is unusual in being a Georgian Catholic church, originally in classical Georgian style. It was substantially restored in 1991. Beneath and to the side is a range of parish rooms and a parish hall, built in 1931.
English Martyrs church was reordered about ten years ago to make it more suitable for modern liturgy and families.It has a social centre to one side.
We try to keep the churches open during the day for private prayer and reflection.
The parish is a member of Churches Together in Wakefield (see links page) and is a Fairtrade parish.
SOME FAQS- Frequently Asked Questions
Does the hospital pass my details to the Catholic chaplain?
Regrettably, our hospitals will not advise chaplains about Catholic patients unless you tell them to. If you are going in, let us know andwe will advise the chaplain (currently Canon Peter Maguire) Generally, the Sacrament of the Sick(anointing) can be administered before you go in. This strengthening sacrament is no longer administered as “last rites”- it is for anyone who is seriously ill, having an operation and so on.
Will I be visited at home if sick or housebound?
Certainly: Home Visits and Holy Communion can be arranged, but you need to advise us. If you become ill and unable to attend mass & would like a visit and Holy Communion, do let us know.
Can I get another baptism certificate- I’ve lost mine?
If you were baptised here, contact us with the approximate date & aduplicate can be picked up. If out of the district, send an SAE with your details.
Can I help in the parish?
A few pointers: The “SVP” is open to members who can be of service to those in need- in many ways- visiting, befriending and more- ask us. There are many opportunities- just tell us what you want to do and how much time you have.