“Being loved and being kept safe go to the very core of the Church’s Ministry to children and vulnerable adults.  The work of safeguarding has to be seen within the overall mission of the Church.  As she seeks to protect the vulnerable and weak, the Church needs to ‘act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with God’.  (Micah 6:8).

It is a ministry of love and healing and seeks justice for all”.
The Cumberlege Commission 2007

As Catholics, we recognise that every human being has a value and dignity which we acknowledge as coming directly from God’s creation of male and female in his own image and likeness. 

Bishop Declan’s Pastoral letter 18th February 2012


Here at Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Charlton Kings we strive to be a family-friendly community, where sincere affection, patience, tolerance and mutual respect be freely given to all.

Families today seem to come in more shapes and sizes than ever before. There are:

  • Single people who have never married
  • Single people who have been divorced, and possibly share the care of their children
  • Couples without children
  • Widows and widowers of all ages
  • Lone-parent families
  • Two-parent families
  • Families with one or more disabled children or adults
  • Extended families
  • Adoptive families
  • Friends living together
  • Foster families
  • Blended families
  • Families with many children
  • Families from different cultural backgrounds
  • Mixed-faith or inter-church families
  • Carers and their elderly or disabled relatives
  • Service families

and probably many more.


What are We Aiming Towards?

  • Having an awareness of Safeguarding, which within the Catholic community is a collective responsibility. All members must recognise,  cknowledge, value and adhere to the policies and procedures that are in place to safeguard and promote the wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults during any activity that takes place within a church context.
  • Actively involving adults, and children of all ages, both in the Mass and other liturgies on aregular basis.
  • We hope our community is part of a church where everybody feels welcome and comfortable, and knows that their individual needs have been considered, and met wherever possible.
  • Encouraging all members of the church to have a positive attitude towards each other, especially across generations and cultures.
  • Having buildings that are safe and accessible to everyone (ramps, toilets, access, protective railings, etc).
  • Being aware of the special needs of larger families, whether two-parent or “blended”, with children across a broad age range.
  • Reaching out to individuals and families in the local community, through our facilities and outreach work

For Catholics, “The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” Through the words of Consecration spoken by the Priest, Catholics believe that our Lord Jesus becomes truly present in the Eucharistic or Holy Communion. The Bread and Wine become Christ’s Body and Blood. Why do we believe this? Because Jesus tells us in John 6:55: “… my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink,”

The Mass is the most important prayer for Catholics, within the parish there are usually 14 opportunities to go to mass and receive Jesus in Holy Communion, within the parish (8 in the parish church and 6 at Nazareth House, off the London Road).

One of a priest’s most important duties is to pray for his people, and this takes place at its most profound and special of times when a Parish Priest says Mass for his people, and for their intentions. Fr Mark is very happy to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for your intention. This could be for a wedding anniversary, the anniversary of a loved one’s death, a special birthday celebration, or a Mass of thanksgiving. Please contact the parish office, between 9am and 1pm Monday to Friday, to book a mass and to hand in your mass offering.

The Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary is a thriving parish community in Charlton Kings, Cheltenham. Whether you are new or well settled in this part of the Diocese, ‘Welcome’. We look forward to meeting and celebrating the word of the Lord with you at Mass or at one of our many parish events.

Mass was first celebrated in the Charlton Kings district of Cheltenham when in 1939 the sisters of La Sainte Union opened a boarding school and convent at Charlton Park. With the outbreak of war, evacuees expanded the congregation, and Mass was transferred to the school hall. The mission was then served by Benedictines from St Gregory’s. In 1947 the parish of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary was created and land acquired for a church.

The presbytery was completed in 1954, and the foundation stone was laid by Bishop Joseph Rudderham on 11 February 1956. The church was blessed and opened on 30 June 1957 and consecrated by Bishop Mervyn Alexander on 15 October 1982.

Today Sacred Hearts parish community consists of nearly 1,600 parishioners and over 800 families. We have over 40 parish groups and a popular summer fete on the second Saturday of June, along with other activities and events year-round. Supporting these activities, we have a large Parish Hall and an active, first-rate Squash Club, which are used by the parish and the wider community.

Parish priests since foundation:

Fr Mark Moran: 2017 – Present

Fr Paul Brandon: 2008 – 2017

Fr Alan Finley 1997-2008

Fr Anthony Trafford 1987-1997

Fr Patrick O’Donovan 1979-1987

Fr Gerald Rodgers 1978-1979

Fr Edward McDonnell 1953-1978

Fr Patrick Ryan 1953

Fr John O’Donnell 1948-1953

Source: extract from ‘The Diocese of Clifton 1850 – 2000′ by Rev Dr J A Harding the Diocesan Archivist.

Our parish priest


Our Parish Priest, Fr Mark Moran, was born and raised in the North West of England and worked as a baker, a chef and then a school bursar before going off to seminary.He came to the diocese in September 2002, having completed 4 years of seminary training in Valladolid and Rome. To get orientated within the diocese he completed his first year at Sacred Hearts, in Charlton Kings and gave administrative support to the Diocesan Safeguarding Office in Alexander House, Bristol. At the end of this year he completed his seminary formation by completing a Mission Theology Degree in London. He was ordained to the priesthood at Clifton Cathedral in July 2005 and was appointed to Holy Rood in Swindon.After only serving a year as an assistant priest he was appointed parish priest at St Thomas More in Cheltenham, between September 2006 to 2008 
In September 2008 he became the parish priest of Christ the King, Amesbury. During his nine years at Christ the King, he carried out major refurbishment of the church, house and site. In addition to the usual parish pastoral work Fr Mark has been a school chaplain, a school governor (including being Vice Chair and Chair), the treasurer of the National Conference of Priests of England and Wales and a chaplain for Fanning the Flame
He has a very down to earth approach and is happy to call ‘a spade a spade’. He is passionate about prayer, spending time in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, as well as helping people encounter God by living out his faith as part of the community he is called to serve.
On 27th May 2017, Bishop Declan, asked Father Mark to take up a new position as parish priest at Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. He took over as our parish priest on the 8th September 2017.
Please feel free to catch him after mass and say “hi” or if you would like an appointment, please contact the Parish Office.