1895 By October 1895 the Leighton Mission was provided with a resident priest in the person of the Rev Charles E. Reilly. It was he who bought a plot of land, 60 feet by 138 feet, in Beaudesert on which a permanent church could be built. The plot itself cost £250. On the Feast of St Augustine in that year, the Rt Rev Dr Riddell, Bishop of Northampton, visited Leighton Buzzard for confirmation, the first such service in Leighton Buzzard for 300 years.

The Leighton Buzzard Observer of 14th September 1897 carried the following report:


The Roman Catholics appear to have concluded that they now have established themselves in Leighton, and the erection of a church as a separate building has been commenced on a site on the south-west side of the Beaudesert   Road, near to the junction with the Vandyke and Hockliffe Roads. The structure is said to be but a temporary one, of iron, until circumstances and expected requirements shall justify the erection of a more substantial and permanent building. The church will be an iron one, of rather handsome design, consisting of a nave, with front porch, sanctuary and sacristy, with pointed bell turret over the nave. The cost, irrespective of site, will be £150. Mr Humphreys of Knightsbridge is the contractor and the brickwork sub-structure is in the hands of Mr G B Tutt, builder, of Leighton Buzzard. It is expected that the building will be completed in about six weeks but we understand there is to be no special opening ceremonial.’

The reporter may have been misinformed, for the Leighton Buzzard Observer of 14th December 1897 reported


The New Roman Catholic Church in Beaudesert is to be opened on Thursday, when a dedicatory sermon will be preached by the Very Rev. Dr. Duckett of Norwich. On Sunday, as will be seen from an advertisement, the services will be continued. At the morning and evening services, (respectively at ten and half-past six), there are to be sermons by the Rev. Father Dunstan OSF, Superior of the Franciscan House at Buckingham. The non-Catholic public is specially invited.

The advertisement to which the article referred appeared in the same issue and read:

THE OPENING SERVICE will be continued SUNDAY NEXT when the VERY REVD FATHER DUNSTAN monk of the order of St Francis, will PREACH, both morning and evening Services 1O am and 6.30 pm. ALL SEATS FREE’