This week Newsletter
Baptism & Parish Registration Forms
Our Parish Priest
Our Parish Priest
Fr. Cyriacus Elochukwu Okafor
My name is Fr. Cyriacus Elochukwu Okafor. I was ordained on the 16th of August 2003 in the Catholic Diocese of Nnewi, Nigeria. After my ordination, I served as the Bursar of the Cathedral Parish, Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral from 2003 to 2005. I was appointed the Parish Priest of St. Michael’s Ozubulu. After serving in this Parish for three years, I was sent to study in the University of Lagos, where I resided at Regina Mundi Parish Mushin Lagos. I continued my further studies in England, and did Master’s and PhD studies in Economics, graduating from the University of Leeds, West Yorkshire. Prior to my arrival in this Parish, I was appointed the Priest-in-charge of St. Elizabeth Parish, Richmond Twickenham.
The Parish of Our Lady of the Crays is a dynamic and multicultural Parish. Despite being multicultural, there is a deep-rooted fraternity that cuts across the various diverse cultural backgrounds of our parishioners. This is a positive development, one that will see us grow from strength to strength in our spiritual journey as one Parish family.
So far, I have been overwhelmed by the magnitude of your love, support and hospitality these past three years. Be rest assured of my prayers and love for all of you. Through the powerful intercession of our Mother, Mary, may God bless and continue to build us up in this community of love.
Our Parish History
Early History of Cray Valley Parish
The St Mary Cray mission had its origins in the early nineteenth century through the large numbers of Irish immigrants coming to London to work on the expanding railways in the South East – as well as people sought by the Joynson Paper Mill situated near the Cray River and next to the railway viaduct. To attend Mass, people walked every Sunday to St Mary’s Crayford – about seven miles away. They then attended the Chislehurst Mission, St Mary’s, when it started in 1852. Mass has been celebrated in St Mary Cray since 1873 in the school, but it only in 1875 did it gain its first resident priest.
The First Church
The parish bought three cottages at the junction of the High Street and Blacksmiths Lane, and awarded a contract for £1,330 in January 1895 to build a church next to the school. On 14th April 1941 the church was destroyed in bombing. Mass was then celebrated in St Philomena’s Convent hall, and then in a hall built with the help and generosity of many parishioners giving of their time and materials. Mass was said there for many years before a second St Joseph’s Church costing £40,000 was commissioned. The Mass of Dedication took place on 19th March 1959.
312 High Street
St. Mary Cray Kent BR5 4AR
Wednesday – Friday
9 AM – 4 PM