Parish Priest

Parish of St Bede's

“Preach the Gospel in season and out of season”

Tel: 020 8674 3704

Fr Marcus Holden

Fr Marcus writes:
I was born in Chorley, Lancashire. I am a ‘cradle Catholic’, and both my parents are Catholic. My father is very much from the English recusant tradition. My mother, although born and brought up in Bolton, has ancestry from Ukraine and Hungary. When I was seven years old we moved to Pembrokeshire in Wales. This became a second home for me and my parents and brother (who still live in and around the beautiful Saundersfoot/Tenby area). In 1996 I moved to Oxford to read Theology at the University. When completing my studies in 1999 I applied to start formation for the priesthood with the Archdiocese of Southwark. After graduation Archbishop Bowen sent me to study in Rome at the Venerable English College and the Pontifical Gregorian University. My academic specialisation was in the History of Theology. I was in Rome for six years of training and preparation, of philosophy and theology, before being ordained as a priest by Archbishop Kevin McDonald on 10th September 2005 at St Joseph’s, New Malden (where I had a base in the diocese for several years).

Every diocesan priest is called to be an all-rounder – striving to care for parishioners through the Holy Mass and sacraments, teaching and preaching, administration, prayers and devotions, meetings, spiritual direction and visits. At the same time, every priest will have a particular area of interest and focus. My passion is for catechesis and teaching. In this vein, I helped set up St Anthony Communications ( and the Evangelium Project ( and I work with the Maryvale Institute and the Catholic Truth Society. One of my main apostolates is in creating written and multimedia resources for the promotion and explanation of the Catholic faith. A major interest I have is in English Catholic history in general and in the English saints in particular. In 2004 I edited a book called Saints of the English Calendar which celebrates our national heroes of faith. It will come as no surprise, therefore, that I was delighted to discover the fascinating Catholic history of Clapham Park with the stories of Miss Ellis and Cardinal Bourne and especially the dedicated to St Bede, who is the father of English ecclesiastical history. I hope to also build on the inspiration of St Bede here in the promotion of Catholic education and the formation of Catholic culture.

This introduction is taken from Fr Marcus’ opening letter to parishioners on 6/7th October 2018.

Since 2020 Fr Marcus has also been Episcopal Vicar for Evangelisation and Catechesis and Dean of Lambeth.

You can read the complete letter here

Tel: 020 8674 3704