The story of St. Mary’s and St. John’s Church in Camp Hill starts in 1953, a mile and half away at the Abbey Church of St. Mary the Virgin where a young curate called Dennis Sneath saw the potential in the new and ever expanding Camp Hill estate. He found a community keen to serve and worship Almighty God, so he convinced the diocese to purchase some land off the council and set up a mission church.
A building was designed for both worshipping God and for the community to use for social events. During the buildings construction, the faithful people of the estate gathered together in the builders’ hut every Sunday to celebrate mass, and on the 8th of May 1954 the dual purpose hall was opened. This was only intended to be used temporarily because the intention was to build a parish church, so from then on Fr Dennis and the church people went out every Sunday afternoon to ask the people of the estate to purchase bricks to build the church. After 12 years the hard work finally paid off and on the 27th of August 1966 the foundation stone of the church was consecrated by the assistant Bishop of Coventry, the Right Reverend. J.McKie.
From then on the major building work of the church began, with fixtures and fitting being donated to the church. The Font was given by a stone mason in the parish, the pulpit was given by a carpenter in the town, and the organ was given by Burns & Son. So, St. Mary & St. John Church is literally built by the people for the people.
After 14 long years of hard work, Fr Dennis’ vision was complete, and on the 10th September 1967, the church and furnishings was consecrated. From then on a thriving Church life encompassing, Sunday school, women‘s Guild, Youth Club, Brownies, Guides, Social Evenings, Dances and fund raising events etc were established including strong links with our local schools, who were encouraged to come to Church at special times in the Church year.