Parish History

The Roman Catholic Parish of

Our Lady the Immaculate Conception,

Devizes, Wiltshire

The Roman Catholic Parish of

Our Lady the Immaculate Conception,

Devizes, Wiltshire

Parish History

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Fr Martin Griffin

Fr Martin Griffin

Fr Martin was born Jude Martin Griffin in Ennistymon in County Clare, Ireland, on November 11th 1938. He attended the local National School until the age of of 12 when he continued his education at the Christian Brothers College in Ennis.

 

In 1957, at the age of eighteen, he travelled to Wiltshire to begin his three year training as a psychiatric nurse at Roundway Hospital here in Devizes. After qualifying he moved to St Francis Hospital in Haywards Heath and Lambeth Hospital to complete his general nursing training. He returned to Roundway from 1963 to 1965. He was then a nurse at the psychiatric unit being set up at the Royal United Hospital in Bath and later he worked at Saxondale psychiatric hospital in Radcliffe-on-Trent. It was there that he answered his vocation to the priesthood.

 

He spent two years at St Mary’s College in Aberystwyth and was then a novitiate at The Holy Ghost parish in Yeovil before going to the Pontifical Beda College in Rome for four years.

 

Following his ordination as a Deacon at the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary at Charlton Kings on the edge of Cheltenham in 1975, Fr Martin was ordained to the sacred priesthood by the Bishop of Clifton, the Right Reverend Mervyn Alexander, on June 16th 1976 in Devizes. He then began his priestly ministry at The Holy Ghost parish in Yeovil. He later served in Devizes, Cheltenham, Stonehouse, Hampton Hill, Norcross in Georgia USA, Malmesbury and Dublin before being appointed as Parish Priest here in Devizes from August 2004 to November 2005. He then returned to Malmesbury to be Parish Priest at St Aldhelm’s.

 

In early 2018 he returned to Devizes to cover the five month period when the parish was without a Parish Priest, while still running the Malmesbury parish. In September 2019 he retired here, staying until he was asked by Bishop Declan to become Parish Priest at The Sacred Heart in Royal Wootton Bassett, a post he took up early in 2020.

 

When his final illness was confirmed in July 2020 he moved from Royal Wootton Bassett to Nazareth House in Cheltenham and then from there to Gloucester Royal Hospital where he died peacefully and fortified by the rites of the Church in the first few minutes of Tuesday August 18th. He is buried in the Parish Cemetery.

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