THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN LEISTON
Before there was a Catholic Church in Leiston, Mrs. Kathleen Smith would travel by Mr. Garrod’s pony and trap to Mass at Aldeburgh. Sunday Mass was also sometimes said at her home in Carr Avenue, using the sideboard as an altar.
When the 1914-1918 war ended, she and Mr. Peter Testoni purchased an ex army hut which they then had sited at the top of Carr Avenue. This became the Leiston Catholic Church of The Holy Souls and remained so until the present one was built in Seaward Avenue in the 1960s.
Mrs. Smith and her husband Jack were Sacristans at the Carr Avenue church – preparing it for services, doing the flowers and keeping the church clean. She tended the Sanctuary oil lamp daily to keep it constantly burning and was also the organist. It was always her ambition for Leiston to have it’s own proper Catholic church built.
Members of her family attend the church to this day.