ROMAN CATHOLIC, OVERTON

During and after the Reformation in the 16th Century, Overton was one of many places where Catholics worshipped in secret although the only remains of a Catholic Chapel and priest hole of that time is at Althrey Hall a few miles away. A number must have existed in the parish, however as records of the persecution of Catholics can be found until well into the 18th Century and a number like Richard Gwyn died for their faith. Saint Richard Gwyn was a teacher in Overton in the 1560s, was martyred in Wrexham Beast Market in 1584 and was canonized in 1970.

Roman Catholics had their first Church in the Village early in this Century when Lord Southwell of Knolton Hall converted a building at his home into a small Chapel. Following this, Roman Catholics celebrated Mass in a caravan in the grounds of Pendyffryn, Salop Road, Overton.

Monsignor Philip B. Webb came to Overton in 1952. His congregation met and celebrating Mass in the caravan. He inspired his parishioners to help raise the funds for a new Church to be built on Wrexham Road, and this was opened in 1958 by Rev John Petit Bishop of Menevia and dedicated to Our Lady and the Welsh Martyrs. Subsequently money was raised for the Presbytery and Church Hall. 

Rt. Rev. Mgr Webb retired in 2008 at 91½ years of age after 56 years of distinguished service to the people of Overton and district.  He died on 14th October 2009.