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Roman Catholicism in Bolsover

During the 19th century Roman Catholics in Bolsover were served by the Jesuit mission at Spinkhill in Eckington. As numbers grew following the opening of the collieries, Father Charles Froes (1864–1930), then of Clowne, opened a Mass centre, dedicated to St Joseph, in a wooden hut behind 1 High Street in 1903. The following year Froes moved to Shirebrook but continued to serve at Bolsover until his retirement in 1928, when the mission came to an end.

In 1942 a new Mass centre was opened in an upper room behind a house in the Market Place. The following year the diocese of Nottingham purchased 59 High Street, where a stone-built stable block was adapted by voluntary labour to form a chapel. This building remained in use until 1967 when St Bernadette's church was built next to it. The adjoining barn, as it became known, continued to used for social events but was eventually in need of such repair that in 2005 the diocese sold the premises and used the proceeds to repair and restore both St Bernadette's and St Joseph's, Shirebrook. The work at Bolsover included renovating the exterior, installing a new central heating system, and adding a meeting room.

Content generated during research for the paperback book 'Bolsover: Castle, Town and Colliery' (ISBN 13 : 978-1-86077-484-3) for the England's Past for Everyone series

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