By Laurence King
This is certainly proving to be a busy and exciting year for Sacred Heart Church, with rare maybe even unique events and developments taking place.
Sacred Heart Church is situated on Carlton Hill, and serves the Catholic community in Carlton, Gedling, Burton Joyce, Lowdham, Gunthorpe, Netherfield, Colwick and Sneinton.
The church is open all day, every day, for people to pop in to say a prayer, light a candle and spend a bit of time in the peace and quiet it offers.
This large site is undergoing significant development.
On one side of the church is the site of the old Catholic Club, which latterly had been leased out as the Doghouse pub, but has now been demolished in anticipation of the building of a new parish centre.
This multi-function facility is going through the final stages of the planning process and is scheduled to be opened in 2020.
It will provide an attractive venue, plus be of significant benefit and support to the wider community for evening classes and other community groups.
Meanwhile, the current parish centre and office behind the church remain available for the use of the parish and local community.
On the other side of the church, scaffolding has been erected around the original old church and parish house as they are converted into a new convent.
The site was recently acquired by the Sisters of St Joseph of Peace, a religious order founded in Nottingham in 1884 by Margaret Anna Cusack.
The order continues a rich heritage in countries including the UK, USA and Haiti devoted to social justice through social service, education, health care and much more.
Finally, Sacred Heart Church itself is undergoing an internal restoration with completion scheduled for July, and two open days for people to come and see the new interior provisionally planned for 18th and 19th July.
This will restore the church to its original colour scheme and reveal the green marble columns that have been hidden by lilac emulsion for over 15 years.
It’s not all buildings. The year so far has had two very special events that aren’t witnessed often.
Firstly, the solemn and inspiring ordination of Father Paul Smith on the 26th January at St Barnabas Cathedral in Nottingham, who had completed a six-month training placement at Sacred Heart prior to becoming a priest.
This commitment to the religious life was followed by the final profession of vows by Katrina Alton at Sacred Heart on 4th May to become a Sister of Saint Joseph of Peace.
It was a great occasion for all and the first celebration of this kind for the religious order in 30 years.
Sister Katrina, amongst other members of her order, will be based in the new St Joseph’s Convent and will provide support to the most vulnerable in our society.
Sister Katrina said: “Since 1884 our sisters have lived and worked in Nottingham, many taught in the Catholic schools or nursed in local hospitals.
“Today we are responding afresh to the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable in our society.”
Father Joe Wheat, the parish priest since 2014, added: “This is a really exciting time for the Catholic church and the whole area.
“Sacred Heart parish is an engaging, lively and caring community and the church sits on a very prominent place on the main road.
“Our new facilities and the creation of a new convent will be a great asset to the local community and different groups.”
Ann Oliphant, parish administrator and resident of Burton Joyce, said: “This is a time of major change and investment in the wider parish and parishioners, in their community, and their social and spiritual support.
“We look for growing involvement in all the activities the church and its facilities provide.”
Father Joe Wheat said: “We provide a warm welcome to our own parish community and beyond.
“Sacred Heart is a place for everyone to come whether it be for a few moments of peace and prayer in the church or to attend one of the social events or groups in the parish centre.
“So, if you have not been part of the parish before or have been away from the church for a while you are assured of a warm welcome. We look forward to seeing you soon.”
Additional information can be obtained from the Sacred Heart website at or telephone 0115 911 8266
The Sisters of Saint Joseph of Peace website is www.csjp.org.