Parish Priests
Fr Jijo George 2021 -
Fr Sabu Pariyadan RCJ 2017 - 2021
Fr Nick De Keyser 2012 - 2016
Fr Frank J Jackson 2002 - 2012
Fr John Harvey 1997 - 2002
Fr Leslie Knight 1993 - 1997
Fr John Glynn 1988 - 1993
Fr Leslie Knight 1983 - 1988

Parish Development

Springfield

The church of St Augustine of Canterbury in Springfield was opened in 1983. In 1987 the presbytery in Beardsley Drive was completed and in 1990 the new Bishop's Ecumenical Primary School was opened. This school was the first purpose-built joint RC and C-of-E school in the country. The round library of the school was designed by the architect Sir Colin St John Wilson, who also designed London's British Library. He is the son of the late Bishop Wilson of Chelmsford, after whom the school was named. The school's library was Grade 2 listed in 2020.

Later additions to St Augustine's church have been the stained glass windows in January 2000 and the Stations of the Cross in time for Lent 2001. In 2002 the car park was resurfaced. A significant extension to St Augustine's Church was added in 2007.

Chelmer Village

In Chelmer Village, as the population grew, the celebration of holy mass moved from a porta-cabin in Chelmer Village to the newly opened Church of our Saviour, a shared ecumenical church. This took place in 1985, two years after the opening of St Augustine's. Masses were said on a Saturday evening and complemented the two Sunday masses at St Augustine's and New Hall. In 2019, for several reasons including a serious fire and limited attendance, the parish withdrew from the Church of our Saviour.

New Hall

Mass has been celebrated at New Hall since 1799. Sunday morning masses at New Hall stopped being said because of the Covid-19 pandemic. This was made permanent in 2021 after the school authorities expressed their uneasiness about mixing the school community with outsiders and the Bishop's resulting suggestion that Sunday morning masses at New Hall should not be restarted.

Early Springfield Development

There has been a worshipping community in Springfield since the late 1950s. Monsignor Wilson celebrated the first Sunday mass in the Women's Institute Hall. As the congregation increased, the need to find new premises became apparent. The new Mass Centre at the end of the 1960s was the dance studio at the back of Springfield Place. The congregation outgrew this venue and, in the 1970s, it moved to Perryfields Junior School Hall. Mass attendance was in excess of 200 people. Sunday worship continued here until the move to St Augustine's in 1983 and, until that time, the Springfield parish was part of Our Lady Immaculate parish and mass was celebrated in rotation by the three resident priests.

In the thirty years or more before becoming a separate parish, Springfield community was very active both spiritually and socially. There were family discussion groups, prayer groups, retreats and catechetics. Fund raising towards the new church was high on the agenda. In 1974 a Parish House was purchased on the Uplands Estate and became the first presbytery and meeting place. Parishioners furnished the house.

A successful "500" club, market stalls, summer fetes, coffee mornings were part of the fund raising to furnish the sanctuary of St Augustine's. Bishop Thomas announced that the church would be a shared ownership building with the Anglican and Free Church Communities.