St. Edward’s Presbytery
St. Edward’s Presbytery has stood for over 100 years. At time of writing in 2009, it has been home to 13 Parish Priests, 39 Assistant Priests and many visiting clergy.
Pencil Sketches by C.Dudley Brown of 13 The Grove, the first presbytery and of the interior of the Presbytery in 1892 when it was in use as a chapel.
In September 1891 Fr. Stanley arrived to found the Roman Catholic parish of Kettering. For the first few weeks he was forced to commute from Northampton; finally moving temporarily into 13 The Grove on October 29th 1891.
October 28th 1891 saw the start of the construction of the present Presbytery at 2 The Grove. The building was completed on June 1st 1892 at a cost of £1,300 and was built so that the ground floor formed one large room. This was used as a chapel until the new church (now the hall) was opened on January 10th 1893.
In January 1893 the Kettering Guardian wrote of the Presbytery that: “It is a large and commanding structure, admirably built, and fitted up throughout in most excellent fashion.” However it hasn’t always been loved. In 1937 the Chairman of the parish meeting considering the building of the ‘new’ St. Edward’s church stated “It has always been my dream to knock down the ghastly place in which the priest is condemned to live”.
In the early 1990s major damp proofing work took place in the cellar and a number of small rooms were created on the ground floor of the Presbytery.
Summer 2009 the Presbytery under scaffolding
105 St. Peter’s Avenue, temporary presbytery during the 2009 renovations
However, by June 2009 the time for major renovations had arrived. Canon John Koenig and Fr. Andy Richardson moved to 105 St. Peter’s Avenue while the Presbytery underwent essential safety work – such as fireboards under the stairs – and a redesign and refurbishment.
In the Presbytery’s latest incarnation (2009) there has been a sympathetic retention of old architecture while accommodating modern needs. The top floor of the house is now capable of being used as an independent flat, complete with a small kitchen.
The middle floor has seen the addition of ensuite shower rooms and the renovation of a bedroom for the use of visiting priests.
The ground floor has seen minor changes to the layout, including the expansion of the Parish Office; fresh redecoration and carpeting; and the burnishing of the beautiful parquet flooring.
Article written 2009
In 2019, the Parish office moved into one of the larger ground floor rooms (pictured above with the fireplace) to accommodate the appointment of a part-time paid Parish Secretary ( the first in the Parish history).
In 2020, during the Covid-19 outbreak and Lockdown, all Parish churches and places of public worship were closed, as part off the government plan to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus. Fr. Gregory, and Jithu, a seminarian who was staying with him, celebrated private daily Mass within the Presbytery, sharing in a Spiritual communion with parishioners in their homes.