All Saints History
The Parish of Oxted & Warlingham
Continue...  The building of All Saints Church and the creation of the parish in Oxted resulted from the vision of one man, Father Algernon Lang. Father Lang was a wealthy man and offered to finance the building. In his search for a suitable site in 1914, he came upon Chichele Road, at that time still unsurfaced, and with one solitary house, now no.12, the Priest’s House. It had been erected the previous year, by a builder who had demolished an old house in Godstone in order to reconstruct it in Oxted. It was Father Lang’s intention to build the Catholic Church alongside the house but the council refused permission and so he bought the land immediately behind the house. The foundation stone for the new church on this site was laid by the Bishop of Southwark on 3rd  August 1914, the day before the start of World War I. Despite the war, it was still possible to complete a certain amount of building. The sacristy in the crypt, now the parish room, was finished and Mass could be said there for the first time on 17 October 1914. The sanctuary was ready for use on the 17 December. Progress was, however, then suspended for the rest of the war and was restarted after the war so that the whole church shell was completed by 7 December 1920. The beautiful features of the interior of the church were then developed over several years and the Church was finally consecrated on 6 July 1927. Initially, Oxted was strictly a mission, not a real parish until 1928, and until 1965 was in the Diocese of Southwark. One of the abiding problems of the early years and a source of much comment from the Bishop was that of the definition of the area served by All Saints, which varied constantly over the years. Although neither Westerham nor Edenbridge was strictly in the parish which was officially bounded by the county border, Catholics from both areas came to Mass at All Saints. There was no such problem with Tatsfield which was always part of Oxted. In the 1930s, priests from Oxted served the catholic communities by saying Mass in Biggin Hill and Edenbridge where churches were opened in 1931 and 1933 respectively. There have been relatively few parish priests in Oxted over its 90 plus years history. Father Lang died suddenly in the Presbytery after saying Mass on 26 February 1929, aged 76. He was buried in the nave of All Saints Church, the church he had so lovingly built. Father Oscar Leake was parish priest from 1929 to 1936. From 1936 to 1974, there were only two parish priests, Father Edward Brown 1936 to 1946) and Father Oswald Bussy (1946 to 1974).