The history of the Catholic Parish of The Holy Family
In 2022 the two churches of Holy Name Esher and Our Lady of Lourdes Thames Ditton became one parish – newly named The Holy Family.
The two churches still operate separately but much of the parish life is done in unison and we share one priest. The history of our two parishes has come full circle over the past 100 years or so. Back in the 1920s Catholics from the Esher and Thames Ditton area used to travel to Surbiton for Mass. As the numbers grew, the first church more locally to be built was Holy Name, which began in a house over the road of the existing site, and a priest from St Raphael's in Surbiton used to come to say Sunday Mass. Then in the 1930s a priest was appointed to serve the whole area of Hampton Court, Claygate, Esher, Hinchley Wood, Weston Green and the Dittons. He sourced more small sites in houses and a garage and eventually Sandon Hall was built.
In 1959 the division of Esher and Thames Ditton was officially made and St Pauls School and Our Lady of Lourdes church was built in the few years that followed.
For many years the two parishes have thrived and the school has been a remarkable success story serving both parishes. With the now declining number of priests available, it was decided in 2022 to bring the two churches back together to serve the catholic parish of the Esher and Thames Ditton area – two churches, one parish - served by one priest.
From here our journey together continues …………