The Cathedral Church of St Mary and St Helen lies in the town of Brentwood in the county of Essex. The first church to be built on the site was erected in 1837 on land donated by the Petre family. As the Catholic community in Brentwood increased, this building became too small and so, in 1861, a larger church dedicated to St Helen was built in the Gothic style, on an adjacent site.
In 1917 the new Diocese of Brentwood was created, with the church of St Helen’s as its Cathedral Seat. In 1989 work began on the current Cathedral designed by the leading Classical architect Quinlan Terry.
While the Gothic heart of the old St Helen’s was retained, a magnificent new classical-styled structure was added and in 1991 the new Cathedral of St Mary and St Helen was formally dedicated by the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Basil Hume.
Since 1998 the Cathedral has been linked with the parish of Holy Cross & All Saints, Warley with priests from the Cathedral serving both parishes. In addition to being the Mother Church of the Diocese the Cathedral also has a thriving parish community and is open every day for prayer and worship