The Mission


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A teaser for you. What’s the link between the digging of Immingham dock, an army of shovel-wielding navvies, one of Lincolnshire’s most powerful families, a group of Dutch nuns…and a plot of land in Watkin Street?

Sounds a bit like a tabloid scandal……..and the need for spiritual guidance IS at the heart of it. But there’s nothing sleazy about the answer. The link is the catholic church of St Peter.

Back at the beginning of the 20th century there was an urgent new need for a new catholic church on the rapidly expanding West Marsh. And the hundreds of navvies, many of them Catholics, who poured into the area to help build Immingham’s new dock added to that need.

The honourable Georgina Fraser, a member of the influential Heneage family, got the ball rolling with an offer of financial help. The nuns came a little later to set up a convent and school.

Former West Marsh community warden Mick Swales, whose parents Evelyn and John were married at the church in 1947, has been delving into the diocesan records to find out more about the long defunct church and its beginnings…..His story begins in 1906…..

Mission Need – Clip 1

The Heneage family from Hainton played a vital role in the development of Grimsby. One member became Grimsby’s MP and they had deep catholic connections. Georgina Fraser stepped in to turn the need for a new catholic mission on the West Marsh into reality….

The Right Honourable Georgina Fraser – Clip 2 

 The plot of land in Watkin Street stretched from the corner of Armstrong Street northwards. The church and presbytery were built some distance away from the corner…..

The Mission – Clip 3

Today there’s no trace of the catholic mission and presbytery in Watkin Street. They disappeared under the bulldozers in the redevelopment of the early 1970s and much of that area is now industrial units.