Welcome to St. Anthony's
Welcome to St. Anthony's 

Parish History

In June 1937 areas of land on the Farnham Road were purchased by Father Gray from funds raised by benefactors of his parish at Fakenham in Norfolk, which had been dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua, the wonder worker, whose devotion to the infant child Jesus had moved Father Gray. He made appeals in many places, particularly in Ireland.

 

The first soil of Saint Anthony's school site was turned in April 1939. Three weeks later the foundation stone of the school was laid by the then Bishop of Northampton Lawrence Youens. On Sunday 20th July 1940 the new mission of Saint Anthony's was opened by Father Houghton and Mass was celebrated in the school hall with an attendance of 91 people. On the 2nd September 1940 Saint Anthony's school opened its doors to the first set of children. The school hall was used not only for Sunday Mass, but also for daily Mass and other services.

 

Over the following years until 1955 the debt from building the school was repaid, down to £1,000. The school was already too small for the number attending, and the old presbytery, "Wyvis Lodge", was to be demolished by the council. To cope with this, two extra classrooms were built for £3,000, and "Shepherd's Hey" was purchased along with 6 acres of land, for £7,000.

By 1960 a further £18,000 had been raised, paying off the debts and leaving £7,000 in hand. Church building started with the laying of the foundation stone on October 8th. (See the order of service.) The first stage alone (just the nave) was expected to cost £32,000, exclusive of furnishing. The second stage (sanctuary and tower) was to cost a further £18,000, and the addition of large trancepts (which were never built) were to add another £30,000.

 

Saturday 22 February 1964 was the celebration date for the new church. About 700 people turned up for this landmark in the history of the parish. Bishop Leo Parker and about twenty of the clergy from the surrounding parishes, were escorted from the school hall to the front of the new church.

 

At a separate celebration in school the children presented the then Parish Priest with a lovely carved statue of Saint Anthony which still stands in the aisle of the church to this day.

 

 

Saint Anthony of Padua

Saint Anthony was born Ferdinand de Bouillon in Portugal in 1195 AD. At the age of fifteen he joined the Canons Regular of Saint Augustine. Several years later he met five young Franciscan friars on their way to Morocco to preach Christ to the Moslems. There they were martyred, and the return of their bodies to Portugal for burial moved Anthony to seek entrance to their radical new order, to change his name, and to aspire to the missions himself.

 

Soon he too set off for Morocco but he became ill on the way and had to return. His ship was driven off course to Sicily from where he made his way to Assisi, and there he attended the last great gathering of Franciscans at which Francis himself was present. At its conclusion he was assigned to the priory at Forli to say Mass for the brothers and to serve in the kitchen.

 

At an ordination where no one was prepared to preach, Anthony was chosen to speak extemporaneously, and his sermon so astonished his hearers with its brilliance and theological wisdom that he was made preacher to the province of Romagna. The learned heretics of that area met their match in him at last, and soon Anthony's reputation was spread throughout all of Italy and France.

 

Wherever he went, people crowded the churches to hear him. Merchants closed their shops, and women stayed up all night in the pews waiting for him. When the churches could hold no more, they moved him out to the street. When the city squares overflowed, they took his platform to the hillsides. As many as forty thousand at one time went to hear this short, stocky, swarthy young Portuguese with the incredible voice who preached like a recording angel.

 

Called "The Wonder Worker," it was his sermons which worked most of the wonders, inflaming the hearts of sinners, reconciling enemies, converting heretics. But there were other marvels as well and two of many such stories, often thought of as legends, are attested to by witnesses.

 

At Rimini one time when Waldensian heretics, angry at his charges against them, had marched off, Anthony was walking alone by the sea reflecting aloud on how often the fishes are mentioned in Scripture. Suddenly those who followed him noticed that fishes had gathered and were lifting their heads above water and appearing to listen.

The Parish Organ

St.Anthony's has enjoyed a lively musical tradition for many years since the new church building was opened in February 1964. However, a pipe organ was not installed until 1974. 
 
It was at this time the distinguished organ building business of Grant, Degens and Bradbeer was coming to an end and the church were fortunate in having one of their final instruments installed in the west end gallery of the church. The company's organs are noted for their exceptional tonal quality and the instrument at St. Anthony's speaks wonderfully into a glorious acoustic. 
 
Maurice Forsythe-Grant was a pioneer in British organ building during the sixties and seventies, bringing a much needed revival to the scene by the use of 'Classical' voicing techniques, more commonly found in eighteenth century instruments in France and Holland. The renowned organist Peter Hurford has said "The organs he built are still among the most musically compelling instruments in the land, never failing to challenge the player's musical perceptions". 
 
The organ was installed with limited available funds and a proper case could not be afforded. Never the less, the specification provided an organ with two manuals and pedals, well balanced choruses and a splendid swell Trompette. 
 
Over time, the electric action of the instrument became more and more unreliable until early in 2012, thanks to the enthusiasm and vision of parish priest Fr. Richard Moroney a contract for the restoration/conservation of the organ was placed with Pipe Organ Services of Leicesterhire. 
 
Whilst respecting the existing tonal scheme, some additional ranks were installed to give greater tonal variety. The console was completely overhauled, with new keyboards, a digital electrical system together with a comprehensive range of couplers and playing aids. A splendid new case was made, the design of which blends well with the church architecture. 
 
On the 29th September 2012, Martin Baker, Master of Music at Westminster Cathedral, gave an opening recital and this was followed by two further concerts to celebrate the restoration of the organ. 

Church Grounds

On the border of the County of Buckinghamshire and the County of Slough there is a little known Parish called St Anthony's. Its imposing church, built forty-one years ago, and its older school standing side by side are the first buildings you encounter as you enter Slough from the North side. The church is set in 3½ acres of rolling grass land. It is not obvious from the road, and because of that it remains a secret; even from some of St Anthony's uncurious parishioners! 

 
Many years ago we were persuaded to enter the 'Slough in Bloom' competition, which we did, only to find ourselves unplaced because they were only interested in what you could see from the road. We entered in subsequent years and have won first, second and third prizes.
 
To the rear of the property there is a beautifully constructed Grotto, set amidst well selected shrubs and trees. This Grotto boasts a lovely water feature, lights that are activated by movement, and benches so that the weary and those seeking peace might find rest.
 
The presbytery itself also has its own enclosed garden so that those walking, meditating or resting in the grounds do not disturb the peace and tranquillity that centres on the presbytery. 
 
If you are ever passing on the A355 why not drop off and explore? Share with us the 'best kept secret of our Diocese'. We promise you will be amazed!
  

Be Involved

 

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." - Mother Theresa 

 

The Parish warmly welcomes all volunteers! If you can assist with any of the following, please let Fr Nicholas know: Sacristy work, cleaning, children’s liturgy, repair works, painting, gardening, lifts for parishioners to and from Mass.
If there is something else you can do, please do let him know.

Welcome

 

If you have recently joined the Parish, you are most welcome. We hope that you are settling in well. Please do make yourself known to Fr Nicholas or the Parish Office. Parish Welcome Packs are available from the Church Narthex. 

 

Tea/Coffee Morning Donations - Sunday

 

If you would like to donate any cakes, biscuits, tea, coffee, fruit etc. They will be gratefully received. Alternatively, if you are able to increase your financial donation, that would be wonderful!

 

A big thank to everyone that helped and supported our tea and coffee mornings. For the month of  May. Our takings were £77.36. If you are new to our Parish, please pop into the Crypt after Mass on a Sunday - we would love to see you. Our tea and coffee mornings are run solely on donations so do support us and give generously. All donations recieved go towards the upkeep of the Crypt. 

 

Sick and Housebound

 

If you know of any parishioners that are sick or housebound that would like to receive Holy Communion, please let Fr Nicholas know or contact the Parish Office. 

 

Eucharistic Minister Readers and Counters Rotas

 

These are now available on the website under Mass Intentions and Rotas.

 

After Mass Tidy Up

 

We are looking for a small team of volunteers to help tidy up after Mass. This includes putting away the hymn books, Mass cards, kneelers and making sure the Church is neat and tidy for its next service.  If you would like to assist in anyway or join a rota, please see Fr Nicholas. 

Prayers for the Sick

 

Please continue to pray for the sick of our Parish and those that have asked for your prayers. If you know of anyone that would like a mention in our bidding prayers, please let Father, the Deacons or the Parish Office know.

Weekly Mass Readings

 

Can now be found here! Weekly Readings

 

Prayer to St Anthony

 

Saint Anthony, perfect imitator of Jesus, who received from God the special power of restoring lost things, grant that I may find {mention your petition} which has been lost. As least restore to me peace and tranquillity of mind, the loss of which has afflicted me even more than my material loss. To this favour I ask another of you: that I may always remain in possession of the true good that is God. Let me rather lose all things than lose God, my supreme good. Let me never suffer the loss of my greatest treasure, eternal life with God. Amen.

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