Welcome to the Parishes of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Eastwood. Our Lady and St Thomas of Hereford, Ilkeston and St John the Evangelist, Stapleford.

Parish Priest: Fr Paul Newman

Welcome everyone to our joint parish website offering helpful information for the parishes of St John the Evangelist Stapleford, Our Lady and St Thomas’ Ilkeston, and Our Lady of Good Counsel Eastwood.

We are three communities that have been brought together with one mission – to bring the love of Jesus, the caring heart of Jesus, to each other and to those we are involved with in our towns and villages.

St Paul in his letter to the people living in Ephesus, tried to build the Christian community, the Church in Ephesus, through prayer; ‘I pray that Christ may make his home in your hearts’ Paul said, ‘so that being rooted and grounded in love, you may have the strength to know the love of Christ and be filled with the fulness of God’.

St Paul’s prayer is my prayer for us! And if we can do that, if we can know the love of Christ and be filled with the fulness of God, then we really can call ourselves people who are built around Christ. Together we can make a difference.

Bookmark the website, follow us on Social Media platforms, call in to see us at one of our Masses – you’ll be very welcome. And know we are here for you!

God bless and promises of prayers,

Fr Paul and the team!

  • 20230601 - Bishops PA Advert

  • Maria and the painting of Our Lady have now been reunited, because there has been so much public interest and people asking if they would be able to see it, Maria is working on putting the painting on display in our lady's church, hilltop. As soon as everything is organised [...]

  • The St. Joseph’s Bereavement Support Group will meet on Wednesday 7th June in the Meeting Room at Our Lady’s Eastwood immediately following Mass at 10am.  New members would be most welcome.

Mass & Sacraments






















Sacred Scripture begins with the creation and union of man and woman and ends with “the wedding feast of the Lamb” (Rev 19:7, 9). Scripture often refers to marriage, its origin and purpose, the meaning God gave to it, and its renewal in the covenant made by Jesus with his Church.

The Sacrament of Marriage is a covenant, which is more than a contract. Covenant always expresses a relationship between persons. The marriage covenant refers to the relationship between the husband and wife, a permanent union of persons capable of knowing and loving each other and God. The celebration of marriage is also a liturgical act, appropriately held in a public liturgy at church. Catholics are urged to celebrate their marriage within the Eucharistic Liturgy.


The prophets of the Old Testament foretold that God’s Spirit would rest upon the Messiah to sustain his mission.  Their prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus the Messiah was conceived by the Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.  The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus on the occasion of his baptism by John.  Jesus’ entire mission occurred in communion with the Spirit. Before he died, Jesus promised that the Spirit would be given to the Apostles and to the entire Church.  After his death, he was raised by the Father in the power of the Spirit.

Confirmation deepens our baptismal life that calls us to be missionary witnesses of Jesus Christ in our families, neighbourhoods, society, and the world.  We receive the message of faith in a deeper and more intensive manner with great emphasis given to the person of Jesus Christ, who asked the Father to give the Holy Spirit to the Church for building up the community in loving service.

ANNOINTING OF THE SICK2021-06-16T12:56:19+00:00

In the Church’s Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, throughthe ministry of the priest, it is Jesus who touches the sick to heal them from sin – and sometimes even from physical ailment. His cures were signs of the arrival of the Kingdom of God. The core message of his healing tells us of his plan to conquer sin and death by his dying and rising.

The Rite of Anointing tells us there is no need to wait until a person is at the point of death to receive the Sacrament. A careful judgment about the serious nature of the illness is sufficient.

When the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is given, the hoped-for effect is that, if it be God’s will, the person be physically healed of illness. But even if there is no physical healing, the primary effect of the Sacrament is a spiritual healing by which the sick person receives the Holy Spirit’s gift of peace and courage to deal with the difficulties that accompany serious illness or the frailty of old age.


Not only does it [the Sacrament of Penance] free us from our sins but it also challenges us to have the same kind of compassion and forgiveness for those who sin against us.  We are liberated to be forgivers.  We obtain new insight into the words of the Prayer of St. Francis: “It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.”

Jesus entrusted the ministry of reconciliation to the Church.  The Sacrament of Penance is God’s gift to us so that any sin committed after Baptism can be forgiven.  In confession we have the opportunity to repent and recover the grace of friendship with God. It is a holy moment in which we place ourselves in his presence and honestly acknowledge our sins, especially mortal sins.  With absolution, we are reconciled to God and the Church. The Sacrament helps us stay close to the truth that we cannot live without God. “In him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).

HOLY COMMUNION2021-06-16T12:56:34+00:00

For more information about making your First Holy Communion get in touch!

It doesn’t matter how long its been since you have been to Mass. You are always invited to encounter Jesus in the Mass.

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.'” – John 6:35


From the moment of Jesus’ conception in the womb of Mary until his Resurrection, he was filled with the Holy Spirit.  In biblical language, he was anointed by the Holy Spirit and thus established by God the Father as our high priest. As Risen Lord, he remains our high priest. . . . While all the baptised share in Christ’s priesthood, the ministerial priesthood shares this through the Sacrament of Holy Orders in a special way.

“Here I am, send me.” (Is 6:8)

Ordination to the priesthood is always a call and a gift from God. Christ reminded his Apostles that they needed to ask the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into the harvest.  Those who seek priesthood respond generously to God’s call using the words of the prophet, “Here I am, send me” (Is 6:8).  This call from God can be recognised and understood from the daily signs that disclose his will to those in charge of discerning the vocation of the candidate.


The origin and foundation of Christian Baptism is Jesus.  Before starting his public ministry, Jesus submitted himself to the baptism given by John the Baptist.  The waters did not purify him; he cleansed the waters.  . . .  Jesus did not need to be baptised because he was totally faithful to the will of his Father and free from sin.  However, he wanted to show his solidarity with human beings in order to reconcile them to the Father. By commanding his disciples to baptise all nations, he established the means by which people would die to sin – Original and actual – and begin to live a new life with God.

In Baptism, the Holy Spirit moves us to answer Christ’s call to holiness. In Baptism, we are asked to walk by the light of Christ and to trust in his wisdom. We are invited to submit our hearts to Christ with ever deeper love.

Sacramental Announcements

  • First Holy Communion 2023 - Stapleford: Sessions for children wishing to take part in a programme of preparation for First Communion, will begin in January after the 5pm Mass. Application forms will be available in December from St John'sChurch. For more details contact the parish office or have a word with John [...]

  • We have a team of catechists in place for a programme beginning January 2023. Sessions will take place on Sundays after mass in the crypt. If your child does not attend St Thomas’ catholic school and you would like them to attend the preparation course, please email the office with [...]

  • Congratulations to Kit who will be baptised at Our Lady’s Eastwood on Sunday 21st August at 12.30pm. Our best wishes go to Kit and his family on this very special occasion. Well done everyone!

Our Community

The history of our 3 Parishes 

Our Lady’s and Saint Thomas of Hereford, Ilkeston.

Architect: Charles W. Hunt and George Lee

Original Date: 1921

A striking and idiosyncratic Gothic design of the interwar period, old fashioned for its date, but nevertheless of some interest. Its tower with crown spire is a local landmark.

A mission was established in Ilkeston in 1858, catering mainly for newly-arrived Irish industrial and agricultural workers. Fr C. W. Tasker was given charge of the mission, and in his letter of appointment, Bishop Roskell wrote: ‘there are upwards of 500 Catholics in Ilkeston and its immediate neighbourhood, without a chapel or even a school to meet in, or a single vestment or chalice, or any requisites for Divine service’. To start with, Mass was said in a disused factory on Nottingham Road, while Fr Tasker commuted to Ilkeston from St Mary’s Derby. The mission then extended as far as Mansfield.

In 1862 Fr Tasker’s successor, Fr McKenna, opened a schoolroom-cum-chapel on Regent Street. During the time of his successor, Fr O’Neill (1867-78) the chapel was extended with an apsidal sanctuary (1875), a separate schoolroom was built (1876) and two adjacent cottages converted (or rebuilt) to form the presbytery. It was also in 1875 that the church was dedicated to Our Lady and St Thomas of Hereford; St Thomas was a member of the Cantelupe family, erstwhile lords of the manor in Ilkeston.

In the 1880s and 90s the mission was in the care of Canon McCarthy, who revived the ancient devotion to Our Lady of Dale, with an annual pilgrimage to nearby Dale Abbey. In 1891 Bishop Bagshawe celebrated Mass in the ruins of the abbey and the altar stone used on that occasion was brought to the Lady Chapel at Ilkeston.

On 25 July 1921 Bishop Dunn laid the foundation stone for a new church on the site of the old one. The architects were Charles W Hunt ARIBA and his assistant George Lee, the contractors Messrs Lehane & Co of Darley Dale and the stonemason Jack Torr of Ilkeston. Funds were short, and in the first phase of work only the three western bays of the nave were built, and a temporary brick east wall formed. The main body of the church was completed in 1930 and opened and consecrated on 24 May of that year. The fall in land allowed for a crypt to be built beneath the east end of the church, housing a shrine to Our Lady and other uses. The total cost incurred by 1930 was £7,800; volunteers carried out much of the work (this was the period of the Great Depression and the General Strike) and the parish priest, Fr de Mattos, ensured that the work was paid for as it proceeded, incurring no debt. The building was faced largely with Darley Dale stone, but parts of the less visible north wall were faced in cheaper brick. Plans for the completion of the tower and spire were prepared by George Lee in 1931 and in 1933 a bell was hung in the completed tower.

The church was furnished by degrees. The high altar was of Darley Dale stone and the rood figures painted by a Mr Carlin of Chaddesden. The timber altars to the Sacred Heart and Our Lady were installed by 1930, as was the font, carved by Jack Torr. Benches, Stations of the Cross, organ frontal and a western porch were added later, in the 1950s. More recently (2006), the western porch has been replaced with a new and larger porch, with associated remodelling of the west end of the church, from designs by John Halton Design Ltd of Lincoln. Sanctuary reordering took place at the same time.


The church is in Early English Gothic Style and is of brick construction faced in Darley Dale stone (except for part of the north wall, which is brick faced), with a Westmorland slate roof. On plan it consists of an aisleless nave with organ loft adjunct to the north, and an eastern chancel flanked by side chapels and placed over a crypt. There is a tower with a crown spire at the southeast corner, and a modern porch extension at the west end.

The south flank elevation to Regent Street is of five bays, with a restless rhythm of lower bays with shorter paired lancets alternating with higher bays with raised staggered parapets and longer paired lancets. The tower at the southeast corner has clasped buttresses and is of three stages, culminating in a crown spire, perhaps modelled on that of St Dunstan in the East in the City of London. The canted east end has tall lancet windows and is raised over a crypt, demarcated by a stringcourse. On the north side there is a flying buttress over the side chapel rising up to the eaves of the chancel roof and further west a northern projection (housing the organ chamber). Below this is a low link to the earlier (1870s) red brick presbytery. Behind this link the north wall is faced in red brick. The west front is now dominated by the new entrance porch added in 2006. This is designed in a contextual manner, faced in stone of similar coursing to the original, and Gothic in design.

The entrance leads into a new narthex area with a spiral stair rising to a new glass fronted western gallery holding overspill seating. The interior of the five-bay nave is a single volume, with the same restless expression of the bay divisions as evinced externally. Oversailing it is a black and white roof of hammerbeam type construction, raised in the high bays. On the north side, one bay houses the organ at the upper level (the gallery front was added in 1951), with confessionals and link through to the presbytery below. There is a narrow chancel arch rising to the full height of the nave, flanked by lower pointed arches to the side chapels. The chancel has a similar roof to that of the nave.


Our Lady Of Good Counsel, Eastwood.

Architect: Not established

Original Date: 1897

A simple red brick Gothic church of late nineteenth century date, occupying a prominent position in the townscape of Eastwood. Amongst the furnishings is a medieval altar slab from the nearby Carthusian house of Beauvale Priory.

Eastwood is a former coal mining town in the Broxtowe district, lying on the Nottinghamshire / Derbyshire border. Its most famous son was D.H. Lawrence, who perhaps over-romanticised the place when he wrote of his childhood home that ‘Robin Hood and his merry men were never very far away’. The nineteenth century saw great expansion of the settlement, due to the growth of the coalmines, ironworks and the network of canals and railways across the Erewash Valley. It has been estimated that some 10% of those working in these expanding industries were Irish Catholics, but the nearest Mass centre was at Ilkeston.

In the 1880s nearby Beauvale House was the seat of the Earl Cowper, whose sister was Lady Amabel Kerr, Catholic wife of Lord Walter Kerr, Admiral of the Fleet. The Kerrs acquired a property then known as Ellerslie House on the corner of Derby Road and Bailey Grove to provide a chapel and accommodation for a priest, who came once a month from Ilkeston or the Cathedral. In 1889 Eastwood (with Long Eaton) was made a separate mission and the site of the present church was acquired, again through the generosity of the Kerr family. The presbytery was built before the church, which opened in 1897.

In 1935 a chapel was built off the (liturgical) south side of the church honouring the local Carthusians St John Houghton and St Robert Lawrence, amongst the first Catholic Martyrs of the Reformation,successive Priors of the Charterhouse at Beauvale and hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn on 5 May 1535. The altar slab (mensa) in the chapel is medieval and was brought here from Beauvale Priory in 1942 by Fr Martin Finneran.

In 1975 extensions to the presbytery by Reynolds & Scott provided a meeting room, sacristy, small kitchen and garage. In 1982 a new parish hall was built from designs by Montague Associates of Derby. More recently (in 2008) an extensive scheme of refurbishment and reordering was carried out under the direction of John Halton Design Ltd of Lincoln. A porch/narthex at the west end and an extension to the parish hall were built at about the same time.

The church is in a simple lancet Gothic style, built of red brick laid in Flemish bond, with painted stone dressings and a machine-made tile roof. It is orientated north-south, but this description follows conventional liturgical orientation, i.e. as if the altar faced east.

The main west front has an entrance porch/narthex designed in contextual style and materials, added in 2008. Behind this the west front has a triple lancet window, with black painted timber framing in the gable and a projecting bellcote at the apex of the gable housing one bell. On the side, the main elevation facing the road consists of five bays, each separated by stepped attached buttresses. There are paired lancet windows in each bay, apart from in the westernmost bay, which has a projecting brick appendage, formerly a baptistery but now serving as an accessible WC. The east elevation is plain and windowless, relieved only by attached buttresses, and the south elevation has two and a half bays facing towards a small garden and is otherwise attached to the presbytery and its various additions.

The western narthex leads into a space under an organ gallery (the organ dates from 1994 and was made by Jonathan Wallace of Nottingham). The main space of the church is a single volume, with a separate (1935) chapel giving off the south side. There is an oversailing timber roof of hammerbeam design, ceiled at collar level. The walls are painted and plastered, and there are stained glass roundels of saints in the lancet windows. The character of the interior belongs largely to an extensive and sympathetic remodelling of 2007-8. Features dating from this time include a new Derbyshire sandstone altar, reredos panelling, sanctuary seating, ambo and font. On the east wall is a crucifix against a background of hand printed red Watts wallpaper, with a canopy over.

The most notable furnishing is the mensa in the Martyrs’ Chapel, possibly dating from the foundation of Beauvale Priory in 1343, and brought here six hundred years later. It is incorporated in an altar with a reredos painting depicting St John Houghton and St Robert Lawrence, being led with others from the Tower of London to execution at Tyburn. According to the parish priest, it was painted by Dom. Pedro Subercaseaux, a Benedictine monk who was born in Rome in about 1880 and became a monk at Quarr Abbey on the Isle of Wight (information from Canon Dolan). The altar also holds carved wooden statues of the two saints by Theodore Kern, who also carved the statues of Our Lady and St Joseph, now placed on new pedestals in the corners of the sanctuary.

Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist, Stapleford.

Architect: J. W. M. Dudding

Original Date: 1951

A utilitarian brick design of the early 1950s, in the stripped basilican style popular at that time. An intended tower was never built.

In 1933 a former furniture shop on Derby Road became the first Mass Centre in Stapleford and was known as ‘the upper room’. Eighteen months later the site in Midland Road was acquired for a permanent church. However, it was not until 6 October 1951 that Bishop Ellis laid the foundation stone for the present church. Plans were prepared by J. W. M. Dudding FRIBA of Regent Street, Nottingham and originally allowed for a 40 ft tower on the north side and presbytery to the east (in the event the tower was never built on account of a shortage of building materials and funds, and a building in Lime Grove continued to serve as the presbytery). The contractor was F. Perks & Son of long Eaton. The church was designed to seat approximately 175, and the cost was about £8,500, minus the furnishings. The first Mass was said in the new church on Sunday 2 November 1952. A parish hall was built shortly afterwards. The church has since been altered and extended on the south side.

The Diocesan Yearbook for 1953 described the furnishing of the new church:

‘The altar is built of stone quarried near Dale, and consists of a slab 8 feet by 4 feet supported on five columns, an idea reminiscent of the catacombs, where such altar arrangements are frequent […] Behind and above the altar is the reredos in unstained oak, surmounted by an impressive baldacchino. The carving is the traditional vine, a symbol of Our Divine Lord and the Blessed Sacrament. Above the Tabernacle a carved and hammered oak dove is suspended. The candlesticks and sanctuary lamp to match, designed by the parish priest, are finished in chromium, the better to tone with the oak of the church, all of which is in its natural colour. The font is the special design of the architect, Mr J. W. M. Dudding, of Nottingham. The cover has a bronze cross which, by turning, acts as a lock to keep the cover in position. The choir gallery over the entrance has a reed organ with an electric blower’.

Stapleford was an independent parish from 1947 to 2003, whereupon it became a chapel-of-ease to Ilkeston.


A small church in the reduced basilican style popular in the mid-twentieth century. Without its intended tower, the design is somewhat utilitarian. The architect was J. W. M. Dudding of Nottingham, and copies of the original drawings are held at the diocesan archive. The church is built of red brick laid in garden wall bond (three stretchers and then a header), with reconstituted stone/concrete dressings and pantile roofs. It consists of a nave and chancel of one volume (six bays), with a narrower bay at the west end containing a choir gallery. A baptistery gives off the north side of the nave at the west end, and sacristies and ancillary structures give off the rear (south) elevation). The original main entrance was at the west end with a pair of doors within a staggered brick surround; this entrance has now been blocked and replaced with a stained glass window, and the main entrance is now via a newer addition on the south side. However the entrance door canopy survives, with an arch above, blind except for a small circular window at the top. The main elevation towards the street was intended to have a projecting tower in the second bay from the east; this was never built but the site of the proposed tower is indicated by the slight projection and rendered finish of this bay. The east end is plain and windowless, with a raised brick cross in the brickwork. The windows are metal framed, with soldier courses in the lintels and tile sills. The contemporary and later flat-roofed additions on the south side follow the design and materials of the original build. Interior not inspected.


Luke Boyce-Poyser

PPC Youth Ambassador

Tracey Wood

PPC Member

Esther Fongue

PPC Member

Marilyn Blackburn

Chair of the PPC
Georgina Taylor
PPC Member

Richard Fullbrook

PPC Member

Carrie Leivers

Parish Secretary

Lee Summers

PPC Member. Admin Support

Anna Fitzpatrick

PPC Member































The Beauvale Society

  • Our parish pilgrimage to the ruins of Beauvale Priory in honour of Ss. John Houghton and Robert Lawrence takes place next Sunday 30th April at 3.30pm. Bishop Patrick will be the main celebrant at Mass and Deacon Anthony Sullivan will be preaching. Please come along and enjoy this wonderful annual [...]

  • The Beauvale Society’s AGM will take place on Wednesday 26th October at 7.30pm at the Eastwood Parish Meeting Room. All are welcome to come along. We are always looking for new members to join the Beauvale Society, so why not come to the AGM and learn more about how it [...]

  • D H Lawrence Festival 2022: During this year’s DH Lawrence Festival, we have two days that are significant to our community and heritage. On Thursday 8th September, following a day of events through ‘open church’ at St Mary’s Greasley, an extraordinary evening at Beauvale Priory will take place. At 7pm [...]

Our Lady of Good Counsel. Eastwood.

280, Nottingham Road. Eastwood. NG16 2AQ

Our Lady & Saint Thomas of Hereford. Ilkeston.

17 Nottingham Road. Ilkeston. DE7 5RF

St John the Evangelist. Stapleford

Midland Avenue. Stapleford. NG9 7BT


Our Community has a wealth of social, spiritual and service focussed groups. Get in touch if you’d like to engage or join!


Our Parishes are linked to three schools. The Priory Catholic Academy, Eastwood. Saint Thomas Catholic Academy, Ilkeston and Saint John Houghton Catholic Academy, Ilkeston. The Diocesan Education Service, based in Mackworth, Derby.


Our parish is part of the Catholic Diocese of Nottingham, which covers Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland and Nottinghamshire. Bishop Patrick is the 10th Bishop of Nottingham.

Youth Service

Nottingham Diocesan Catholic Youth Service serves the young people and their schools and parishes throughout the diocese. They offer a gap year programme for 18-25 year olds who live at The Briars where they run residential retreats for our young people.

Social Centre




ILKESTON. GEMMA AT, gemmaprati@me.com

EASTWOOD. LAURA AT, llloyd_hillbrow@yahoo.co.uk

STAPLEFORD. LISA AT, lisasf38@gmail.com


PARISH PRIEST. FR PAUL NEWMAN. paul.newman@dioceseofnottingham.uk

PARISH SECRETARY. MRS CARRIE LEIVERS. carrie.leivers@dioceseofnottingham.uk

WEBSITE/PRAYER LIST. MR LEE SUMMERS. lee.summers@dioceseofnottingham.uk


If for any reason you are unable to contact a member of the parish team, please do use the links below, if appropriate, to get the support you need. CLICK THE LINKS BELOW TO ACCESS THESE EXTERNAL SITES.

Samaritans | Mind | Cruse Bereavement | Childline | Eastwood Memory Cafe

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