Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart

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Photograph taken 2003


The Church of the Sacred Heart in Nayland traces its origins to a ruined, early thirteenth century chapel dedicated to All Saints, or to St Nicholas in particular, in the grounds of Gifford's Hall, Withermarsh Green. The Hall was owned successively by members of the Constable, Gifford (whence the name Giffard's or Gifford's), Burley and Withermarsh families before it was purchased in 1428 by Philip Mannock. It remained in the hands of the male line of the Mannocks for more than three and a half centuries and continued for another century in the hands of relations who adopted the surname. The old chapel having long fallen into disuse, services were conducted in the family chapel inside the Hall. Various disabilities suffered by Roman Catholics were removed by the Acts of 1780 and 1791, and in 1825-27 a new chapel for public use, the present Roman Catholic Church of St Edmund, Withermarsh Green, was built a short distance away. This catered also for the needs of Nayland Roman Catholics until the Church of the Sacred Heart was built in 1902, the chief benefactors being the Cuddon family. The Cuddons lived in the adjoining house called Loretto and owned the Nayland brewery (formerly in the grounds of the house now known as the Butts) and a number of local public houses. It is particularly interesting to note that, when the First World War memorial was erected at Stoke-by-Nayland, it was the Roman Catholic priest who preached the sermon. The Sacred Heart Church Centenary was celebrated in 2003.

Source: Nayland - Suffolk Town and Village, Nayland with Wissington Conservation Society.

NOTE: The Church of the Sacred Heart is now deconsecrated. It became a private residence in 2010.