The Society was founded in Paris in 1800, just a few years after the French Revolution. Our foundress, Madeleine Sophie Barat came from a small town called Joigny, and you can read about her life and origins below.
The Society came to England in 1842 - a small group comprising six religious and two pupils for their new school. Since then we have opened - and closed - several other communities, schools and colleges, enabled new foundations abroad and, along with the rest of the Society, moved into new areas of mission. Our Timeline charts all these developments, setting them in the context of events and changes within the wider Society, the Church and in politics and civil society. Always, though, the constant has been our call to love, and to make known God's love, wherever we are and however we express it.
In 2017 we quietly celebrated our 175th anniversary here, looking back with gratitude and forward with hope and continued passion. You can read a potted account of those years here...
Although various communities have opened and closed, we have maintained a longstanding presence in a few places, and their stories are recounted via the links below.
Our Provincial Archivist is Barbara Vesey; she can be contacted on
You can read about her here...
St Madeleine Sophie Barat
The Sacred Heart Chapel
Sacred Heart Education in Fenham, Newcastle
Llannerchwen (opens in another site)