The formation of the parish really began in 1899, when the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart were invited to take charge of the mission of St Albans centred on a small church in London Road. By 1900, it was decided a larger, more ornate church was required, so in 1903, the current church was built in Beaconsfield Road. The church was dedicated and blessed on New Year’s Day 1905. In 1959, a Mass centre started at Skyswood Primary School and later transferred to St John Fisher’s School.

Following construction of a modem presbytery and new parish centre, and with all debts cleared, the church was solemnly consecrated on the 4th May 1977.

In 2005, the church roof and all the top windows were replaced. In the mid-1960s, side aisles were added, the Church was lengthened towards the railway, and the tower added. The Church was then very much as we see it today.

Over the years, parishioners have responded to the need for collaborative ministries in sacramental preparation and liturgical participation. From the 1970s there has been a continuing outreach to other churches. This is a very active parish with over 40 groups serving its various needs. Many small Christian communities meet to share their understanding of the Faith.

Another great spiritual resource is the Prayer Room which enables Parishioners to pray before the Blessed Sacrament.

In 2013, the Sacred Heart Centre was opened, following a complete renovation of the meeting rooms and hall, and provides a welcoming space for parish groups to interact.

The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart were founded by a diocesan priest, Jules Chevalier, in Issoudun, France, in 1854. He was touched by the sufferings of the people and saw this human tragedy calling for compassion. He baceme a missionary of God’s love and dedicated his life to a single goal: ‘May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be everywhere loved.’ The MSCs are represented in all continents, where they continue Fr Jules’ missionary ministry of love.

A more detailed history of the parish from the first beginnings in 1840 and of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in St Albans since 1899 has been written by one of our late parishioners, James Corbett.

James Corbett “Celebration; The story of a parish. SS Alban and Stephen 1840-1990” 1990
ISBN 0 9517037 0 6

James Corbett “The Faithful Years; The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in St Albans 1899-1999” 1999
ISBN 0 9517037 3 6