St Pius X Church, Narborough
Narborough is sited on the Roman Road between Leicester and High Cross. The area known locally as “The Hallow” was probably an earthwork fortification; one of the series built by the Danes in the 10th century to protect Leicester from the south. Broughton Astley was the main fort, and the place to the north was called “Nor Burg” (Narborough). Settlement of the present village probably began in the 12th century because the River Soar could be forded at this point and the ground rising sharply from it was dry. The older houses in some parts of the village have stone footings and some are of cruck
construction. In the following decades, the land was cleared and cultivated. About the year 1220, with the founding of the Church in Narborough by the Lord of the Manor, Fitz Wayne, the Mass first came to this village.
After The Reformation and Penal times, the Mass returned on Low Sunday when a Blessed Sacrament Father from Braunstone came to celebrate the Eucharist in a house in the village.
On the 8th of April 1939, Sunday Mass was offered for the first time in a doctor’s surgery in Church Lane, Narborough. For about 4 years, a small congregation attended each Sunday. They then moved to a room in the Narborough Arms Hotel. Every Sunday from 1943 onwards, a priest from The Blessed Sacrament Church, Braunstone, travelled by bicycle to celebrate Mass.
Meanwhile, the parish, chiefly led by Mr. Bert Cotter (from Croft) and his family, worked hard at raising funds for a church in Narborough. As a result, a site in Leicester Road was acquired and a small church was built there.
The first Mass took place at midnight, 25 December 1957 and was celebrated by Fr John P. Sullivan who was from Blessed Sacrament Church. It was appropriate that the church should be dedicated to St. Pius X, known as the Saint of the Eucharist. The special calling of the Fathers at Braunstone is that of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Shortly after the opening of the new church in Narborough, the late Edward Ellis, Bishop of Nottingham, came to bless it.
For years, our church was diligently served from Braunstone until in 1965, it was established as a Parish embracing Enderby, Huncote, Croft, Broughton Astley, Cosby, Whetstone, Littlethorpe, and Narborough itself. Father Simon Nolan came to the Parish and rented a house until a presbytery was built in 1966 on the same grounds as the church. The increased attendance at the three Sunday Masses meant that an extension was necessary. This was done with the addition of a Sacristy and a small Parish Hall adjoining the church. It was also necessary to refurnish the church at the time. In 2004, a new Parish Hall was completed with a seating capacity of up to 100 people, equipped with fitted kitchen and facilities for the disabled.
So through sheer hard work, unity and a sense of mission, from little acorns grew a now thriving and busy parish serving the Catholic residents of Narborough & neighbouring villages.e toolbar.
As we look beyond the year 2008, the Golden Jubilee of our church building; sixty-nine years from the first mass offered in Church Lane, we continue to strive as a community to remain faithful to the mission of the Church and to continue serving the People of God.
(Parish history courtesy of Fr Simon Nolan RIP, and the Cotter family)