History of our Church Building

The naming of the Parish:

Our Lady of Loreto

In the 1920s Our Lady of Loreto was named Patroness of Pilots and all who work in the Airways; therefore, when the decision was made to build a Church in Kempton Park, Bishop Hugh Boyleconsidered it appropriate to dedicate it to Our Lady of Loreto, since the Parish would largely serve the people working at the Jan Smuts Airport and in the supporting industries. Jan Smuts Airport was renamed Johannesburg Airport and then later again the Oliver Tambo Airport.

Church Design and Symbolism:

Architect : Anthony Slaven
Civil Engineers : J.F. Jackson & A.R. Chinery
Builders : Guiricich Bros. (Pty) Ltd.
Joinery Work : Raymond Amoretti
Electrical Contractor : G.J. Thomas

Mindful of the dedication to Our Lady of Loreto, the Airways Patroness, Anthony Slavin designed the church to capture the idea of an airport. The church itself was designed to resemble an aircraft hangar. Originally, the church had a barrel roof but this was subsequently covered with a pitched roof in 1989.

The altar, which is now the altar in the Side Chapel, was designed to give the impression of and upward thrust. The altar table was designed to represent the wings of an aeroplane and this theme was supported in the design of the built-in ledges. The Sanctuary Lamp is a miniature altar. The lectern resembled the delta wings of a jet; this triangle shape has been a symbol of the Trinity for centuries in the Church.

Father Victor Kotzehad the Baptismal Font (now The Shrine of Oils) made to resemble a launching pad. The fifteenth Station of the Cross, the Resurrection Crucifix above the altar, has an upward thrust in the cross beam.

The outstanding work of art within the church is Marjorie Berezas Stations of the Cross and Father Victor Kotze composed a striking and memorable text of reflection on these hand pictures.

The cross outside the church is an impressive 32 feet (9,75 metres) high and 11 feet (3,35 metres) wide at the cross-beam. It is constructed of steel. Originally the church had a barrel roof which was subsequently covered by a pitched roof when the church was re-roofed in 1989.

The Symbolism In The Stained Glass Windows.
The Regalia of the Pope: Roman Catholic symbols referring to the presence on Warth of Divine order through the Church.

The Keys: The emblem of Saint Peter the keys unlock the door of the House of the Lord and show the way to Heaven.

The Chalice: The Lords Supper Communion. It is also an early symbol of Christian fellowship.

The Alpha and The Omega: The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, symbolizing the completeness of the Bible and that God is the beginning and the end of all things. (Window donated by Sheilagh Marx)

The Descending of the Dove: Th Holy Spirit, peace. The olive branch symbolizes peace.

The Cross and the Crown: Symbolizes the death and victory of Christ as He reconciles the world.

Lilies: The transfiguration of Christ symbol of Easter. Also represents innocence and the Virgin Mary.

The Gospel according to Saint Matthew: Symbolizes the Gospel as written by St Matthew. (Donated by George Matthews)

Our Lady of Loreto: Symbolized by Madonna and Child. Patroness of Aviation and Southern Africa.

Candle: Symbolizes life itsef. The light of God. Rosary symbolizing the faith of millions.

Anchor: Symbolizes stability in troubled seas. Hope the fulfilment of Gods promises.

The Heart and the Rose: The heart symbolizes Charity. The rose symbolizes the purity of Christ.
The large stained glass window in the Chapel of Our Lady was donated by the Walker family in 1998.


Garden of Remembrance

Within the parish grounds there is a beautiful Garden of Remembrance. Apart from a special place for quiet reflection and meditation, it is especially dedicated to our dearly departed relatives and friends. In their loving memory, a plaque may be placed on the wall.

We ask Our Lord to give them everlasting peace.

Subsequent Improvements

Over a period of time some special additions were made to both to structure of the church and to the grounds.
During the mid 1990s, a parishioner Doreen Atwell made the stained glass work in the church. It was a large undertaking and we are very proud of the results. Doreen would like, in turn, to acknowledge her grateful thanks to the following: –
– To our beloved Lord for his guidance,
– To Father Brian van Zeil fot the inspiration,
– To Michele Kock of Stained Glass Studios for her creativity and assistance,
– To Cyril Attwell and Jimmy Cressey for installing the windows,
– To the parishioners for their appreciation of the windows.

As a result of careful planning by by Fr. Joe Lloyd an adjoining house was purchased thus providing a more formal Presbytery.A new community centre, named The Joe Lloyd Centre, was converted from the previous priests accommodation. The oil painting of the Crucifixion was presented by Rogerio Albertos de Oliveira in April 1995. The oil painting of Pope John Paul II was painted and presented by parishioner JohnCowan.

The John Paul Hall

The foundation stone was blessed by His Holiness (Blessed) Pope John Paul II at Gosforth Park on 17th September 1995 and laid by Rt. Rev. Bishop Reginald Orsmond on 10th December 1995.
Architect Pam Britz
Builder I R Liebenberg

Recent renovations

In 2010, during the tenure of Father Mari-Joseph OCD, the church was beautifully redecorated with special emphasis on the Sanctuary area. This area was brightenedwith winter-white glazed ceramic floor tiles and a beautiful new marble altar. The previously dark facebrick back wall of the sanctuary was renovated and brightened with pale beige stones providing a back-drop to the altar area.

The side walls of the Sanctuary were plastered and painted white to follow through on the overall brightening effect and to place focus on the Sanctuary. A new tabernacle was installed together with new lecterns. Statues of Our Lady and the Sacred Heart were triumphantly installed on pillars at the back of the Sanctuary.

The Bell Tower was built. Restrooms were luxuriously refurbished. The kitchen was improved. The entrance area to the church was roofed and the floor tiled providing a convivial meeting area and a place for the sale and display of religious objects, books and notices after-Mass. The floors of the John Paul II Meeting Hall and the adjacent newly roofed catering area were attractively tiled. The sound and projection systems were improved.
All in all, the parish offers a wonderful facility and resource for the faithful to worship, develop their faith and meet both socially and for the maintenance and further development of the parish.