Christianity arrived in the Leominster area over thirteen hundred years ago. St David is reported by his biographer, the Welsh writer Rhygyfarch, as having established a Church here.
Over the centuries the religious community consisted of, at various times, monks and nuns and Abbesses.
However, for many years after the Reformation the Catholic population in the area was very small. By 1767 there remained only six Catholics between the ages of 30 and 60 years of age living in Leominster and their pastoral needs were covered by the Jesuits of Hereford.
By contrast, the Wesleyans enjoyed increasing membership and moved out of their Chapel to larger premises. The old Wesleyan Chapel was purchased and presented to the Catholics. This was Leominster’s first post reformation Catholic Church and was dedicated to St Ethelbert.
In 1888 Fr Athanasius Rogers, with financial help from a local benefactor, was able to open the present “St Ethelbert’s” Church. Built in Gothic style, it was designed by P P Pugin, the son of the Augustus W Pugin, a well known and ardent advocate of Gothic revivalism.