Our Lady of the Assumption, Maryvale
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Page Last Updated:
24 September, 2017

Priests of the Parish

Fr Patrick Lynch Parish Priest 1937 - 1971
Fr George Tarrant Curate 1969 - 1971
   
Canon Peter Lawler Parish Priest 1971 - 1977
Fr Anthony Rohan Curate 1976 - 1977
Fr Philip O'Reilly Parish Priest 1977 - 1983
Fr Paul Watson Curate 1977 - 1982
Fr Alan Holtham Parish Priest 1983 - 2003
 
Fr David Oakley Parish Priest 2003 - 2013
 
Fr Eamonn Corduff Parish Priest 2013 -
   

The Catholic roots of the Maryvale Community are both proud and long.

The parish was established in 1669, the original Oscott College was founded in Maryvale House and the building was the former home of Cardinal J.H. Newman who named the local area Maryvale. The house was the residence of the parish priest and the chapel served as the parish church. In 1851 the Sisters of Mercy were offered the building by Bishop Ullathorne for the founding of a home for orphans. The property has the advantage of being a large building capable of accommodating many children. Eventually the Sisters converted a garden cottage for the use of the priest who was now their chaplain as well as parish priest.

The parish of Maryvale owes a great deal to the Sisters of Mercy who, in addition to their own work, laboured for the parish. The Sisters founded a school for their charges and in 1881 the first school building was opened which served not only the orphanage but the surrounding area as well. Many immigrant Irish chose to live in this part of Birmingham because of the availability of a Catholic school.

In the years between the two World Wars what had been a rural district rapidly became built up. Although the parish of Christ the King was established at Warren Farm Road, the Sisters' chapel continued to serve a large population. A new and larger church was needed and in the post-War years of economic stringency Father Patrick Lynch worked tirelessly to raise funds for a new church. In 1957 the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption was opened at the top of Old Oscott Hill. The statue on the front of the church, made by Peter Bohn, shows a 13ft representation of the Virgin Mary at prayer. Her feet are pointing downwards to indicate her assumption into heaven. The statue was commissioned by the architects of the Church, George Bernard Cox and Bernard Vincent James.

In 1980 after 129 years of service to their children and the local community the Sisters of Mercy left Maryvale due to the different patterns of childcare being adopted and the paucity of vocations. Everyone thought highly of the Sisters and their departure was a great loss. Maryvale House then became home to the Adult Centre for Catechetics, now Maryvale Institute, the Catholic college for theology and catechesis. Fr Paul Watson, known to many of us from his time in the Parish as Curate to Fr O'Reilly, returned to the Parish as Director of Maryvale Institute.

The new church, four times the size of the chapel, accommodated large congregations associated with the fifties, sixties and seventies. In the early eighties the congregation numbered about 950. Currently it numbers around 350.

At the start of 2013, Maryvale Parish became part of a "super parish", combining with Christ the King, Kingstanding and St Margaret Mary, Perry Common. The Little Sisters of the Assumption vacated their convent and moved instead to the former presbytery. In August, the Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary joined our community occupying the former LSA convent.
Assumpta Est Maria