The Good Shepherd

Roman Catholic Parish in Telford, Shropshire incorporating St. Mary's, Madeley and St. Paul's, Dawley

Also serving the communities of Broseley and Stirchley

Shepherd Picture


Catholics have had a presence in Madeley since at least 1676, when there were 51 adult 'papists' recorded as living here.

Today’s presbytery was built in 1769, on a plot of land gifted in 1761 by the Giffards, a recusant family. A Mass House, which we know today as the Upper Room and Lower Room, was incorporated in the rear of the building.

The presbytery is a Grade II listed building.

The church was opened in 1853, and is unfinished; you can spot the clues internally and externally if you take a wander around the building. As a result, it had to undergo major renovation work some years ago, to counter the effects of 150 years of Madeley weather!

In recent years, volunteers installed a magnificent organ at the back of the church, and the church itself has been completely refurbished inside.

You can find out more about the buildings, their history and their 'listed' status here.

You can also find out about the history of St. Mary's here, and about some of the people who lived in 70, High St. here.

Following extensive refurbishment to the Parish Rooms, the Upper Room has been re-ordered as a chapel for occasional use for Mass and Services of Word and Holy Communion.

The Upper Room incorporates the tabernacle and chairs from All Saints, Stirchley and the altar and crucifix from St. Winefride's, Broseley, thus retaining links and reminders from those churches previously served by the parish.

St. Mary's is now incorporated in the Parish of The Good Shepherd.

St. Mary's Angels

If you look closely high up above the side aisle pews in St. Mary's you will spot 8 wooden carved angels.

They came from the chapel in Cheadle Royal Hospital when it was being turned into a theatre.

Fr. Frank McGowan acquired them and kept them in his attic for 30 years.

They then came to Fr. Michael and he installed them on the walls of the staircase in St. Werburgh's presbytery in Birkenhead.

When Fr. Michael came to our parish, he arranged for them to be put up on the 8 beams in St. Mary's, as if they had always been intended for there!

We do not know who carved these oak figures but much care went into the detail considering they would be up in the roof of the chapel in the hospital.

Sound on and click image


Between 1639 and 1767, "Papist" families were recorded in Dawley, but there is no evidence of a Catholic community of any size until the 20th Century and local Catholics had to travel to Wellington or Madeley to go to church.

In 1958, Dawley Town Hall was used for Catholic services and negotiations began for the purchase of some land on Paddock Mount, where a church hall was opened in 1964, behind the Dun Cow Inn. Weekly Mass, celebrated by the Shifnal parish priest, was then attended by around 100 people.

Dawley was created a separate parish in 1978 and by 1980 the hall had been dedicated to Saint Paul.

From 1979 the Anglican church of St. Leonard's, Malinslee, was used for Mass on Saturday evenings, and in 1980 Sunday Mass was also celebrated in the Hollinswood Community Centre.

St. Paul’s moved to its present purpose-built church and community rooms, which were formally opened by Bishop Joseph Gray, in 1983.

St. Paul's is now incorporated in the Parish of The Good Shepherd.


"Sale of Property, 1870, Broseley". A row of buildings, described as “hovels”, in Barber’s Row was purchased by Mr. William Allen for the purpose of  erecting a chapel on the site for the use of the Catholics.

Prior to 1888, when the "Iron Church" was opened, Mass had been celebrated in private houses. The last-known use of the iron structure was in 1912 by the Broseley Scout Troop. St. Winefride’s, as it was known, was dismantled in 1915.

There appears to have been no church on the site until about 1960/62, when an old army hut, purchased for £150, was erected. Worship continued in this wooden hut until about 1975, when it was decided to build a more permanent structure, which was completed in 1979.

Broseley has never been a Catholic Parish in its own right; it has been served by Bridgnorth in the past and is now incorporated in the Parish of the Good Shepherd.


All Saints was established in Stirchley Centre in 1975, as part of an ecumenical venture by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Shrewsbury and the Anglican Diocese of Lichfield, to serve the communities of Stirchley and Brookside.

The church closed in 2013 and Stirchley is now also incorporated in the Parish of the Good Shepherd.


Say "Hello" to Stephen Malpass

Stephen Malpass' grave headstone is opposite the church door.

The Inscription reads:
In Memory of Stephen Malpass who died March 11th 1896 aged 84 years. He was for 57 years a devoted and faithful servant in the family of the late Thomas Griffiths of Coalport by whom this stone was erected.  R.I.P.

So, who was Stephen?

He was born in Tryrel, Staffordshire in 1813. According to the 1861 Census he is 48: a Groom and Gardener; married to Hedwiger (?Hedwidge) who is a cook at the Griffiths home (29 Coalport Rd, Madeley).

The 1871 Census shows that they have 2 daughters: Annie (25) and Mary (22).

There is a Thomas Griffiths, born in 1822, in Coalport who died on 17th April 1892 and is buried in St. Michael’s Church graveyard. He is listed as a Timber Merchant.

Thomas Griffiths and his wife Jane had 3 daughters and 2 sons (one also called Thomas). They had several servants.

An extract from the Broseley Council Meeting of 5th January, 1907 reads: "With reference to the lighting up of Coalport Ferry, Mr. Griffiths* remarked that the Madeley landing right belonged to the Madeley Wood Company. A letter was read from Mr. Cadman (manager), who was of opinion that the committee should erect a gas lamp. The Chairman observed that it was private property, and the owners should find their own light. Mr. Nicklin said he was of the same opinion. Mr. Griffiths remarked that an oil-lamp would be as good as the gas. He thought they would hear further from the Madeley Wood Company.".

* Does anyone know if this was the same family and do you know anything more about Stephen Malpass and his family and descendants that we can add to this information?


Lord Jesus, You have chosen Your priests from among us and sent them out to proclaim Your word, and to act in Your name.

For so great a gift to your Church we give You praise and thanksgiving.

We ask You to fill Your priests with the fire of Your love, that their ministry may reveal Your presence in the Church.

Since they are earthen vessels, we pray that Your power will shine through their weaknesses:
 + in their afflictions: let them never be crushed;
 +in their doubts: never despair;
 +in temptation: never be destroyed;
 +in persecution: never be abandoned.

Inspire them, through prayer, to live each day in the mystery of Your dying and rising.

In times of weakness send them Your Spirit and help them to praise Your Heavenly Father and pray for poor sinners.

By the same Holy Spirit put Your word on their lips and Your love in their hearts, to bring good news to the poor and healing to the broken-hearted.

And may the gift of Mary, Your Mother, to the disciple whom You loved, be Your gift to every priest.

Grant that she, who formed You in her human image, may form them in Your divine image by the power of the Holy Spirit, to the glory of God the Father.



Whoever goes to the LORD for safety, whoever remains under the protection of the Almighty, can say to him, “You are my defender and protector. You are my God; in you I trust.”

He will keep you safe from all hidden dangers and from all deadly diseases. He will cover you with his wings; you will be safe in his care; his faithfulness will protect and defend you.

You need not fear any dangers at night or sudden attacks during the day or the plagues that strike in the dark or the evils that kill in daylight.

A thousand may fall dead beside you, 10,000 all round you, but you will not be harmed. You will look and see how the wicked are punished.

You have made the LORD your defender, the Most High your protector, and so no disaster will strike you, no violence will come near your home. God will put his angels in charge of you to protect you wherever you go.

They will hold you up with their hands to keep you from hurting your feet on the stones. You will trample down lions and snakes, fierce lions and poisonous snakes.

God says, “I will save those who love me and will protect those who acknowledge me as LORD.

When they call to me, I will answer them; when they are in trouble, I will be with them. I will rescue them and honour them. I will reward them with long life; I will save them.”


Father Robert Hilton

Robert Hilton was born on 24th January 1831 to Henry Hilton and Susanna (nee Crowdson). He was baptised at Our Lady & St. Nicholas, Liverpool on 30th January 1831.

Henry and Susanna were married in St. Thomas, Liverpool on 25th May 1824. They also had a daughter, Clara: born 22nd December 1827 and baptised at Our Lady & St. Nicholas on 28th December 1827.

Henry was a butcher.

At an early age Robert was sent to the English College in Lisbon. He was admitted in November 1847 and ordained in 1850. He left in May 1859 to go to Edgley, Stockport, where he was until 1863.

From 1867-69 he was in Duckinfield and from 1871 until his death he was in Wellington. He was a cousin to Monsignor William Hilton.

The 1861 Census lists him as a “boarder” in Cheadle, Moseley along with Randolph Frith (52), Priest *1; Peter Labage (35), Priest; Ann Holden (57), Housekeeper; Mary Dullard (37), Housemaid and James Burns (32), Clerk of Church.

In the 1871 Census he is listed as aged 40 and at St. Mary’s along with Mary Hoy (38), presumably the Housekeeper.

Father Robert’s death certificate shows July 5th 1873, Mill Bank, Wellington.
Robert Hilton, Male, 42 Years, Roman Catholic Priest of Wellington.
Cause of death: Jaundice *2 (certified).

Informant: Thomas Carrane, Solicitor (present at death) High Street, Wellington

Registered July 7th 1873: William Bailey (Registrar).

A fulsome report appeared in the Wellington Journal of 12th July 1873 which you can read here.

*1 Randolph Frith is mentioned in a report on the Stockport Riots of 1852, which you can read here.

*2 Contracted while in Lisbon


Click on the image to see around St. Mary's church

Click on the image to see around St. Paul's church

Click on the image to see around the Upper Room

St. Mary's, Madeley
St. Paul's, Dawley
Parish House, Madeley

Saturday Vigil
St. Mary's, Madeley - 5pm

St. Paul's, Dawley - 9am
St. Mary's, Madeley - 11am

See Parish Newsletter

See Parish Newsletter


Telephone: 01952 586118

St. Paul's
Burton St. and Doseley Rd.
Shropshire. TF4 3AH
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St. Mary's
70 High St.
Shropshire. TF7 5AH
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Copyright © Good Shepherd, Telford
Page last updated: 3 April, 2023