As early as 1917, the question of starting a Mass centre at Warlingham was first raised in a notice read out in the Sacred Heart Church, Caterham. This notice was repeated in 1920 by Father Cooksey, parish priest of Caterham, but the Bishop of Southwark decided that the time was not ripe, basing his decision on the shortage of priests following World War I among other reasons. The Bishop did, however, give his consent for occasional Masses. There the matter rested for several years. When Father Scarborough (who later became the Parish Priest of Caterham following his time in Colditz) was Father Cooksey's Curate, he and others taught catechism to Warlingham children in a room of the "Leather Bottle". After the next curate made a house to house visitation and collected the names of some 26  Catholics, the Diocese purchased a house with a garden school-room attached, and, in 1936, a regular Sunday Mass was started. At the first Mass 56 people were present, a number on which Warlingham has never looked back, By 1939  Warlingham was appearing in the Southwark Directory as "served from Selsdon" with Mass being said by Dr William Sewell, although it was still part of the Caterham parish. The Bishop asked Father John Olliver to become the Parish Priest of the new parish. Father John Olliver had been the Priest in Charge of All Saints, Oxted for the previous five years and was a Missionary Priest from the Mill Hill Missionaries. Coinciding with the formation of the new parish, Father John agreed that he would transfer to the Diocese. In 1942 when the Mass attendance numbers had increased to 132, Warlingham became a separate mission under the care of Father William Evans. Father Evans in 1951 extended the old "church" (the garden-school room) in 1951 to give more room. He retired in 1955 owing to ill health and was succeeded by Father Joseph Tritschler. By 1954, the average Mass attendance had reached nearly 300. Something had to be done and plans were drawn up for a new church, but the council turned them down because they were too ambitious for the size of site. So a more modest design was put forward by architect Bernard Moss at a more affordable price. This was approved, work started on 18th July 1957  and St Ambrose Church was completed in 1958. The formation of the new parish involved many changes and, before it came into being, Father John established a small committee of parishioners from the two former parishes in July 2006  to consider the issues. This committee has been meeting regularly ever since, both to help Father John to decide on the various issues affected by the integration of the two former parishes and to monitor progress. The objective has been to create a single parish with two churches, not two parishes with one priest. St Ambrose History
The Parish of Oxted & Warlingham
Continue... The parish is part of the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton Diocesan Trust registered charity no.252878