Parish History-The Site


old stablesFr Field remained in Swaffham until some time in 1912, and in December of that year Fr Joseph Vendé, a Canon Regular of the Lateran, took over the Mission. He was a significant figure in the establishment of the Parish, for not only was it he who invited the Daughters of Divine Charity to Swaffham but he was also instrumental in buying the land on which the Church of our Lady of Pity now stands. This land with frontages on both Station Street and Northwell Pool Road was sold as a number of lots, consisting of a large warehouse described as being ‘suitable for a cinema’; ‘Ivy House’; and some stables, and other shacks and sheds. The warehouse did indeed become a cinema, but the Diocese bought all the other plots. And the stables were converted into living space for the Priest: it could not be dignified with the name ‘Presbytery’!

The purchase was made on 11 October 1917 for the sum of £670; the building in Theatre Street which had previously housed the Church had already been sold by its owners on 30 April for £150 to the neighbouring garage-owner who planned to use it as a workshop. Where Mass was said in the interim period is not known.