Palmers Green got its first Catholic rector in 1910. Trouble ensued. Like many of the denominational groups in Palmers Green, meetings were at first held in a private house (in Grovelands Road), but this provoked complaints from the neighbours who evoked the covenant on the newly built streets of Palmers Green, that houses should not be used for worship (many houses carry this covenant, which also forbids etc…. to this day).
In 1911 the congregation found a temporary new home in Hazelwood House on Green Lanes, opposite St John’s Church and in 1912, the Catholics of Palmers Green found themselves with a dynamic new priest, Fr Patrick Gallagher. Under Gallagher’s leadership, land for the new church was bought from Barratt the sweet makers of Wood Green and a temporary church was put up on the land now occupied by St Monica’s Hall.
The foundation stone for the new church was laid in June 1913, and the church was built to the design of Edward Goldie (1856 – 1921), a domestic architect as well as church builder, and part of the Goldie architectural dynasty. The family firms Goldie & Child and Edward Goldie & Son Architects were responsible for many of the Catholic Churches built in London and the South East in the late 19th century and up until the 1930s (the practice was continued by his son until it was wound up in 1953). The church was consecrated by Cardinal Basil Hume in 1985.
St Monica’s has a grade 2 listed parish centre on Cannon Hill N14. St Monica’s Hall was built in 1931 and became the Intimate Theatre, about which there is more on other parts of this site.