Welcome to St Mary’s Church & Parish

St Marys Church Derby viewed from across bridge

St Mary’s extends a warm welcome to all visitors to this website. Whether you are familiar with the parish, or you want to learn more about the parish and about the church itself, we hope you find our website helpful and informative.

If you are a newcomer we suggest the introduction below might be an appropriate starting point.

Enjoy your visit to this website and, even better, feel free to call in at St Mary’s and experience the splendour of the building itself. If you have time come to one of our services where everyone is always welcome.

Our sister parish, Holy Family, based in Blenheim Drive, Allestree, Derby, is served by St Mary’s priests. Please refer to the Holy Family Parish website for Holy Family Mass and Service Times.

“St Mary’s, without exception the most magnificent thing that Catholics have done in modern times in this country” Dr Wiseman (1839)


St Mary’s Church Derby viewed from across bridge

The original mission statement of the Church was given to us some two thousand years ago when Jesus said to his apostles:

‘Go and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.’

Therefore our parish mission statement must relate closely to this:

“St Mary’s Parish Community exists to give glory to God, to foster the personal holiness of its members, and to bring Christ to the world.”

It is hoped and intended that St Mary’s Parish website is in line with this mission and in a modest way demonstrates the welcoming community which is St Mary’s. So, whether you are interested in our fine church building and its history, or the master architect who designed it, or you want to discover more about the parish, or you want to know a little more about what Catholics believe, we hope these website pages may be of some interest.

Linking with our mission our vision is:

“An active, committed and involved community of people and priests working in harmony to achieve their parish mission.”

If you want to judge how far we have progressed in achieving our vision we invite you to come and see for yourself. You are most welcome!

Meet our Priests

Canon Timothy O'Sullivan , VF

Fr Tim was born in 1937 in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. before moving at the age of 2 months to County Kerry, Eire. He is the eldest of six children. He studied for the priesthood at Kilkenny College and was ordained on 4 June 1961 for the Diocese of Nottingham.

His first appointment was as Assistant Priest at St Mary’s, Derby under the tutelage of the then Parish Priest, Monsignor Humphrey Wilson. Since then Fr Tim has been Assistant Priest at Holy Souls, Scunthorpe, and at St Mary’s, Worksop. In 1972 he was appointed Parish Priest at Our Lady of Lourdes, Mickleover, Derby, and then in 1976 moved to Holy Trinity Parish, Newark.

He returned to St Mary’s, Derby in 1993 and can often be seen riding his bike around the parish when visiting his parishioners. He was appointed Vicar Forane in 1997, the definition of which is "a priest who by a bishop's appointment exercises limited jurisdiction over the clergy in a district of a diocese." In 2000 he was made Canon of the Cathedral Chapter. On 4th June 2011 he celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood. His main interests outside the parish are golf, the Kerry football team and his extended family - not necessarily in that order!

Father Neil Peoples

Fr Neil

Fr Neil Peoples was born in 1982, in Leicester to Irish parents and is the youngest of three children. Before becoming a priest, Fr Neil worked for the jewellers ‘Goldsmiths’, mainly in the accounts department. He trained for the priesthood at St Mary’s College, Oscott, in Birmingham. The highlight of his time there was the visit of Pope Benedict XVI for the Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman in 2010.

He was ordained Priest for the Diocese of Nottingham on 6th July 2013, in his home parish of St Peter’s in Leicester.

His first appointment was as curate at the Cathedral Church of St Barnabas and the parish of St Augustine of England in Nottingham. During his time in Nottingham he helped to run the Nightfever Events at the Cathedral and to organise coaches to the March for Life in Birmingham.

Fr Neil is a great lover of music including country, rock, 80’s pop and Eurovision! His big passion is football and he is a season ticket holder at Leicester City (the Champions of England ‘2016’) and his mood will very much depend on how the Foxes have done that weekend.

Meet our Deacons

Deacon Chris Blunt

Deacon Chris Blunt

Deacon Chris was born on the 15th December 1949 in Bolton, Lancashire, the 6th of 7 children born to Ben and Margaret Blunt. Chris left school shortly after his 15th birthday and was employed as an apprentice butcher working at various businesses in the Bolton area. It was while working at Bolton Cooperative Society that Chris met Elaine and in 1975, they got married at St. Brendan’s Church, Harwood, Bolton. They set up home in Derby where they had bought a butcher’s business which Chris ran for 23 years before selling the business in 1998. Elaine and Chris have four children, Eve, Anna, Matthew and Megan - all the children having attended St. Mary’s and St. Benedict School.

Chris then spent 17 years working as a government inspector with the Food Standards Agency and its predecessors before retiring in 2014.

Elaine and Chris have two small grandchildren; Oscar and Louie.

Chris has been an active parishioner in St. Mary’s for over 30 years beginning with reading at Mass, chair of Derby Deanery Justice and Peace Group, and involved in various catechetical programmes. After the Nottingham assembly of 2003 Chris helped to set up St. Mary’s liturgy group and was its chairman for the first seven years. Chris and Elaine enjoy walking, gardening, looking after the grandchildren and going on holiday.

After four years of formation at Oscott College in Birmingham, Chris was ordained as a Deacon for Nottingham Diocese by Bishop Patrick McKinney on the 11th June 2016.

Deacon Martin Farrell

Deacon Martin Farrell

Deacon Martin was brought up in a traditional Catholic family in the town of Bellshill, North Lanarkshire, Scotland. He attended the Sacred Heart Primary School and the Salesian Missionary College at Shrigley Park, near Macclesfield, Cheshire. After working in the Department of Health and Social Security, he studied for over three years at the Royal Scots College in Valladolid, Spain.

He went on to complete a BA Honours Degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies with Philosophy in 1984, and a PhD on Spanish Catholicism at the University of Strathclyde in 1992. The same year, he moved to Derby to take up a Senior Lecturer post at the new University there, and also worked as a residential student warden.

In 1993, he married his wife Monica who gave birth to their two daughters, Louisa and Gemma, and they have been part of St Mary’s Parish since then. In 2000, he published his book on The Search for the Religious Ideal in Castillo-Puche, and took up a teaching post at Loughborough University. He was also a Foundation Governor of St Benedict School in Derby from 2002 to 2015.

He began his Diaconate studies in 2010 at the Maryvale Institute in Birmingham and was ordained a Deacon at St Barnabas Cathedral, Nottingham, on 1 November 2014. Back in his native Scotland, Martin has been a keen hillwalker who, along with his wife and children, have conquered a few Munro mountains over the years.

Personal Message from Fr Tim

Fr Tim

The Second Vatican Council encourages everyone to take an active part in the life of the parish. I invite every parishioner of St Mary’s to come forward and help us if you can. You will see in these web pages there are many organisations and activities in the parish. The door is always open to new people and new ideas which can contribute to sustaining and developing the work of the parish. Those in our community who are sick or disabled can make an immense contribution to the spiritual life of the parish with their prayers.

Fr Tim


Fr Tim

Parish Priest:
Canon Timothy O'Sullivan

01332 346126

Fr Neil stmaryoffice@talktalkbusiness.net

Rectory, Bridge Gate, Derby DE1 3AU

Assistant Priest:
Father Neil Peoples

Kim Cheeck - St Mary’s Parish Administrator

Parish Administrator:
Kim Cheek

01332 989505


catechetical-coordinator-Fran- Wickes

Catechetical Co-ordinator:
Fran Wickes

01332 989505 or 01332 346126


St Mary’s parish is part of the Diocese of Nottingham.

Diocesan website:

Patrick McKinney

Our Bishop is Patrick McKinney who was ordained tenth Bishop of Nottingham in St Barnabas’ Cathedral on Friday 3rd July 2015. He succeeded Bishop Malcolm McMahon who was appointed Archbishop of Liverpool in May 2014.


Bridge Gate Convent

(01332) 346920

St. Philomena's Convent

Highfields, Broadway

(01332) 550122

Beechwood Convent - Broadway

(01332) 558043