Pope John XXIII
Pope John XXIII


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Colombo House

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Regional Superiors


This statue of Our Lady was given to The Sons by Mr. Sydney Farmer, a practising Catholic, who recognised it as a mediaeval work and probably Christian. In 1960 it was authenticated as a rare example of mediaeval Gothic art and was blessed in Westminster Cathedral by Cardinal Godfrey. Fr. Gaetano Piccinini said the votive Mass. When Pope John XXIII was shown a photograph of the statue he autographed it with the words "Hail, Star of the Sea, God's own Mother blest".

In 1955 Miss Cecilia Cooper, a devout Catholic, living in 25 Lower Teddington Road, decided to make a gift of the house to The Sons of Divine Providence.

Miss C. Cooper



She had improvised a chapel in her own home in which, with Cardinal Griffin’s permission, a monthly Mass was celebrated. The Chapel was later extended and serves the community to this day.

25 Lower Teddington Road, Hampton Wick

25 Lower Teddington Rd

GrottoThe Grotto in the garden at the back of the house.

The little grotto to Our Lady of Lourdes which Miss Cooper had erected in her garden became the focus of the first street procession in honour of Our Lady to be held in England since the Reformation in the Hampton area.

Work commenced on the conversion of the family house into a residence for elderly gentlemen, and in 1958 Fr. Bidone, with some of the residents from Fatima House, moved from Streatham to Hampton Wick.

In 1956 Cardinal Griffin summoned Fr. Bidone to Archbishop’s House to find out what work The Sons were engaged upon in the Westminster diocese. When it was explained that a residential home for the aged was planned the Cardinal handed Fr. Bidone a cheque for £2,000 to help the work. Providentially this was exactly the price required to purchase the house next door to that gifted by Miss Cooper and which The Sons had just purchased on mortgage, to enable the two to be joined to give extra rooms. These properties came to be named “Westminster House” situated as it was within that diocese.


Between 1952 and 1962 not only were the houses caring for the elderly well established, plans were in hand for a residential unit for severely mentally handicapped children, Colombo House.   In Hampton Wick, another house, No. 13 Lower Teddington Road, was acquired for conversion to a nursing home.  

No. 13 Lower Teddington Rd

No. 13 was owned by the Railway authorities and needed extensive conversion to provide an 8-bedded nursing home.  It was opened on 11th February 1966 fully staffed and registered as St. Mary’s Nursing Home.

By the late sixties the complex of Lower Teddington Road provided residence for the elderly gentlemen, the nursing home, a hostel at No. 21, St. Stephen’s on the upper floors and offices on the lower ground floor.

Compensation funds from the Greater London Council (as it was then) formed the basis for the new home for the elderly in Hampton Wick which was called after the founder, Orione House. When two big houses with large grounds between Westminster House and the railway station became available the plan was put into action. Orione House was opened on 12th October 1974


Orione House

The picture shows the garden at the rear of the house and this faces the back of Westminster House. In the summer the community sit in the garden together with the residents. In recent years the AGM has been held in the garden with the celebration of Mass in the open air followed by reports given by the Company Secretary and the Financial Administrator finishing with a barbecue and social get-together.

Residents of Orione House are able to lead their lives as their physical abilities allow, they are free to come and go as they wish - the house is truly their home. Some people have their fees met by the Social Services payments from the State and some pay privately. Some residents never have a visitor and for them the priests and brothers and the staff are their family and their friends.

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