Celebrating Father Warmoll
by Marguerite & Kenneth Cook
On February 14th 2013, a Mass was celebrated at St Joseph’s for Father John Warmoll, on the anniversary of his death.
One hundred and fifty years ago, in 1863, Fr Warmoll celebrated his first Mass in Bedford at midnight on Christmas Day. This Mass was said in the front parlour of a small Bedford home, with fourteen people attending. The Reformation had meant that Masses had been celebrated in secret, for the two centuries previously.
Our church was named The Holy Child & St. Joseph by Fr Warmoll, and was completed in 1913, which is one hundred years ago.
There is an excellent book by Jack Robbins, in the Town Library local studies collection, which details the story of John Priestley Warmoll.
At the funeral of the then Canon Warmoll, it is said thousands of people formed a long procession following Canon Warmoll’s funeral cortege to Bedford Cemetery. It would be lovely to imagine Canon Warmoll smiling at the wonderful procession led by Bishop Peter last September, as Benediction was celebrated just yards from where Canon Warmoll lies.