This week Newsletter

This week Newsletter

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Diary for this week

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Baptism & Parish Registration Forms

Baptism Form

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Parish Registration Form

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Our Parish Priest

Our Parish Priest

Fr. Cyriacus Elochukwu Okafor

Fr. Cyriacus Elochukwu Okafor

Parish Priest

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.

St Paul’s Cray Parish & Merger

Between 2006 and 2008 The Archbishop, in consultation with his Bishops, priests and the laity, agreed to dissolve the parishes of St Mary Cray and St Peter and St Paul and create a new one, Cray Valley Parish to absorb the former two parishes. A new church was built on the site of the old St Joseph’s and was renamed Our Lady of the Crays, in honour of Our Lady, the unifying mother of Christ. The Crays continue to attract a migrant community, but today instead of a paper mill they are many industries and small businesses which bring people to the area. The larger town of Orpington, which coincidentally started its parish under the banner of St Joseph’s and St Anne’s Orphanages before the original Holy Innocents church was built in 1909, can therefore be said to be subsidiary in its formation of our Catholic Community.

Contact Us

8 + 6 =

Church Location

312 High Street

St. Mary Cray Kent BR5 4AR

01689 821749

Office Hours

Wednesday – Friday

9 AM – 4 PM

Email

crayvalley@rcaos.org.uk