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St Theresa's Southwick has been serving the local community since 1952, and in recent years has expanded its work to help serve neighbouring areas of Portslade and Hove. For more about the history of our Parish please view the Parish History page.


The Church’s Patron Saint is St Therese of Lisieux. Her statue adorns the parapet on the porch on the front of the Church.

Saint Therese of Lisieux (click for link to web site of the Little Flower organisation).

St Therese was a French Carmelite nun and Doctor of the Church.

born Jan. 2, 1873, Alencon, France
died Sept. 30, 1897, Lisieux
canonized May 17, 1925
feast day October 1

Marie-Francoise-Therese Martin

Born into a devout Roman Catholic family, she entered the convent at Lisieux at age 15, where she was plagued by depression and guilt but was known for her sweetness of temper.

At the insistence of the prioress, she wrote an account of her spiritual development, in which she called for an absolute and childlike surrender to God, which she called the Little Way.

After her death from tuberculosis at age 24, the book was published as Story of a Soul (1898) and became widely popular, and her burial site at Lisieux became a place of pilgrimage.

The Carmelite Order

Mendicant order of the Roman Catholic church.

The Order originated c. 1155 on Mount Carmel in Palestine, where a number of former pilgrims and crusaders began to live as hermits. Their rule was written by St. Albert, Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, and approved by Pope Honorius III in 1226.

As Muslim incursions made Palestine increasingly unsafe, the Carmelites scattered to Cyprus, Sicily, France, and England. In England and Western Europe the order transformed itself from a group of hermits into one of mendicant friars.

The first institution of Carmelite nuns was founded in 1452. St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross reemphasized the strictness and austerity of Carmelite traditions, establishing Discalced (barefoot) Carmelite orders in 1562 and 1569, which gave rise to an independent order in 1593.

Both the reformed and the original orders suffered greatly during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era, but they were later restored in most of Western Europe as well as in the Middle East, Latin America, and the U.S.

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