Until the Reformation in the C16th century, all churches were Roman Catholic. After the Reformation, Catholics had to meet for worship in private, and pay heavy fines for not attending the established Church of England.
During this time, various cellars in Stamford were used as secret venues to celebrate Mass in. With the second Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1791, Catholics were permitted to practice their faith openly and without paying fines.
By 1815, Roman Catholics were able to buy 19, All Saints Street to use as a church and meeting house. IT was one of only six Catholic chapels in Lincolnshire.
By 1825, the Catholic population of Stamford had grown sufficiently in size to build its own chapel behind that house. The chapel was enlarged in 1833 and parish records were begun after the first Roman Catholic priest was appointed in Stamford since the Reformation.
By 1861, the congregation decided to build a church for themselves, and plans were drawn up. And the All Saints’ site was put up for sale. The cost of the whole set of buildings, church, priest’s house and schoolroom, came to £2296 0s 6d. It opened in 1865, and the old chapel was demolished.
The church was dedicated to St Mary and St Augustine and is a splendid High Victorian Early English style with a small steepled bell tower.
The church is very attractive inside with whitewashed walls, pale wooden pews and a splendid wooden ceiling. A crucifix hangs from the chancel ceiling which is painted. The altar is a simple stone table with the host box in a recess in the east wall.
To the south side of the chancel is the Lady Chapel set in an apse with a statue of the Virgin and Child.
An arcade of marble pillars with carved plaster capitals separates a small north aisle with a simple wooden altar.
On the walls are modern wooden carvings of the stations of the cross. The simple stone font is at the back of the church.
This is a very attractive church. It is set away from the bustle of Stamford and complements the other medieval churches in Stamford.