In 1908, there were some 200 Catholics in the area. The nearest church at the time was St Wilfird's on Shoreham Street and many could not attend mass. 'The Big Tree' public house in Woodseats was chosen as a meeting place because the landlady was herself a Catholic.

At this time, Sheffield and the surrounding areas were in the Diocese of Nottingham. The Bishop was approached and it was asked that a small temporary church should be erected to serve the district and local area. Early in 1910, a temporary church was built at a cost of £400 and could seat a congregation of 250. The church was dedicated to Our Lady of Beauchief and St Thomas of Canterbury.

Sadly, the records over the next few years are sparse. However, at the end of the Great War, the temporary church was in urgent need of roof and floor repairs and it was therefore decided to collect funds to build a new permanent church. Various events were held to raise funds and also a sum of £500 was donated (a lot of money in those days) by the Woodseats Catholic Club. Adrian Gilbert Scott from the renowned family of architects designed the church you see today. The building contractors were M.J Gleeson. The church is of Italian Romanesque style in the form of a Greek cross.

The church was opened with High Mass in 1932.


The first priest (Fr E O'Doherty) joined the parish and the Dronfield branch of the parish held its first mass at the 'White Swan'. A scout troop was formed along with Girl Guides and the first parish council set up. However, 1939 brought the Second World War and all social activities ceased. Later, Fr O'Doherty became a chaplain to the RAF and eventually settled in North Carolina after a spell in Rome.

Canon Bird became the parish priest in 1944. By this time, the parish was relatively large and many people were moving to the Woodseats and Meadowhead area. The Dronfield arm of the parish was given a former Methodist Chapel and ultimately a new church. It gained its own priest in 1961.

Fr Kavanagh succeeded Canon Bird in 1954. The church itself had not been fully completed. There were no sacristies or proper steps up to the organ loft because after the building of the new church, the parish was virtually bankrupt. These were built in 1959-60 and the church was given a new coat of paint.


In 1947, Mr George Lunt presented the church with a pipe organ. It has been said that this instrument originated from the 17th Century parish church in the village of Ashopton that was flooded in the 1930s to create the Ladybower Reservoir. George Lunt, it is understood, acquired the organ from the doomed church in Ashopton and stored it in Sheffield until the end of the Second World War. The details of this are rather sketchy and are being investigated by the Lunt Family. This was replaced in 1989 by a digital organ, installed under the supervision of Canon Emil Puttmann. The old organ proved too costly to maintain.

As mentioned above, the church is styled in a Greek cross design and consists of five squares of 24 feet each. The bricks for the church were imported from Belgium and the tiles from Spain. The revised liturgy of the Second Vatican Council made a re-modelling of the High Altar necessary. The rails between the altar and congregation were removed and the bapstismal font now stands below the foundation stone laid by the Bishop of Nottingham in 'The Year of Our Lord, 1931'.

Very prominent in the church are the three mosaics, introduced between 1960-2 and made by the late Mr Mayor Marton. The Stations of the Cross were made in Dublin by Imogen Stuart and were completed in Lent of 1961.




The Chapel of Ease to Our Lady & St Thomas is the English Martyrs Church at Totley. The church was designed to accommodate only a small congregation but was built on this site should enlargement ever be necessary. The altar was re-designed in 1978 and in 1982 Stations of the Cross and an icon of Our Lady were added, all being donated by local families and friends of the parish.


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