THE PARISH of ST. AMBROSE
SACRED HEART & OUR LADY, TENBURY WELLS.
Our Parish was established by 1831 by Fr. Charles James O' Connor and our beautiful church was built in 1858 during the time when Fr. Ambrose Courtnay was Parish Priest. It was consecrated on August 5th 1902 by Bishop Edward Ilsey who later become the first Archbishop of Birmingham. During the years following other parishes were established from Kidderminster (Stourport-on-Severn 1948 & Bewdley early 1950s). A Parish was formed on the Birchen Coppice estate in 1956 and was dedicated to Our Lady & St. Patrick. This Parish closed twenty years later and the church was converted into dwellings. A further addition was the combined Parish of Holy Family, Bewdley and Our Lady & St. Pius X in Habberley. In 1998 that Parish was suppressed, and the Habberley community was looked after by us until 2014 when the church in Habberley was sold and subsequently demolished. The memory of this community is preserved by a shrine to St. Pius X in our narthex and the patron saint is recalled in our Eucharistic Prayer.
The community at the Sacred Heart & Our Lady in Tenbury Wells came into existence in 1939 when Captain Avery opened the garage of his house for Mass to said. Some of the curates from Kidderminster were among the earliest supply priests there and much encouragement was given by Mgr. Francis Davis from Oscott College. Variously, supplies have been given at Tenbury by Priests from the Sacred Heart, Droitwich and St. Wulstan's, Stourport, but it is now a very important part of our Parish. The Church in Tenbury was built by Fr. John Danaher, and was opened in 1974.
There were two convents in our Parish, one dedicated to St. Ambrose and run by the Sisters of Charity of St. Paul the Apostle, Selly Park. These Sisters ran our school for many years, but the convent was closed and the Nuns dispersed in the 1980s. The other convent was staffed by the Sisters of the Most Holy Trinity who ran a highly regarded girls boarding school founded in 1903. The school still exists but has little relationship with our parish any longer. The Nuns lived for a short time in a private house in the Parish and gave pastoral support until the early 1990s when they returned to their Mother House in Bromley, Kent.
A History of St. Ambrose's Parish, Kidderminster. by A.B.A O' Dowd, 1981.
A Treasury of Past Memories. by Christopher Ashcroft & Stephen Roberts, 2002.
St. Ambrose's Fallen Parishioners of the Great War 1914-18, Michael J. Bradley & Thomas C.F. Roy, 2017.
Also see; A Tapestry of Kidderminster History, Thomas C. F. Roy; Ch. 21. Pg. 462-4476.
St. Ambrose's, Kidderminster, Don Gilbert, 2022.