Families have spoken of a ‘heart-wrenching’ situation which will see St Albans Catholic Chapel hold its last mass atWinslow Hall.
In a message on the chapel’s website, it said ‘a combination of factors has left the diocese no choice in this difficult decision’.
It described the cost of necessary repairs to the chapel building as ‘immense’ and referred to a ‘severe shortage of priests’.
St Laurence’s Church has agreed to take on the St Albans congregation.
The Rt Reverend Peter Doyle will celebrate the last Mass at the Sheep Street chapel from 11am on Sunday.
Charlotte Fennell said: “It will be heart-wrenching for a lot of families. It’s been a huge part of the community for years and there is a wonderful parish spirit.
“We have three generations that have bene baptised, married and had funeral services there.
“It’s a very big part of Winslow and I know families that have moved from Whitchurch just to be closer to the church. And others travel from Swanbourne. It’s a great shame.”
She added: “From my understanding, the owners wrote to the Bishop requesting that the diocese contribute to the repairs of the house with a ‘five figure sum’. The parish doesn’t have that sort of money.
“It’s disappointing because we would have been able to contribute and in my opinion, we would have had the opportunity to hold some sort of fundraiser and we would have been able to find the funds for it.”
Mass at St Laurence’s Church will become a Saturday Vigil Mass at 6pm with the first on April 16. There will be no mass on Sundays.
The weekday Wednesday mass will continue at 9am. There will be evening mass on all Holy Days of Obligation and on a few other special days of devotion.