Province archivist, Fr Bernard Grogan SDB, outlines the events of 125 years ago:
For the Consecration of the Church of the Sacred Heart, Battersea, Don Rua arrived on Wednesday October 11th. The consecration (by Mgr Cagliero) was on Saturday morning October 14. Don Rua said the first Mass at Midday. The formal opening was on Sunday. Then, on October 20th in the old chapel (in the house) Don Rua received the first perpetual vows of four novices - The first Salesian professions in England.
On October 22 in the new Church Don Rua gave the clerical habit to six other novices. In this way the special services in connection with the Solemn Consecration and Opening of the Church of the Sacred Heart were concluded, and the following day Don Rua left for the Salesian Houses in Belgium.
Fr Gerry O'Shaughnessey, Parish Priest, and Fr Roy Shelly, talking to the Student Council at St John Bosco College