The History of the Catholic Church of St. Simon and Judas Thaddäus in Weidenthal
After the official division of the church in 1701, the Catholic "little church" in Weidenthal was close to decay and from then on was repaired again and again by the financial means of the community.
The "little church" of that time is, of course, in no way comparable with today's place of worship. The simple nave, with a length of 21 metres, a width of 11 metres and a height of 14 metres, was built in the Baroque style with a three-sided chancel at the southern end. This style could be seen particularly well at the entrance and on the tower dome.
In 1717, the church tower was repaired from the community's funds and 2 bells and a tower clock were purchased. In 1740, the Catholic church received its first organ.
After the Seven Years' War, the roof truss and tower in particular had become dilapidated. In 1771 this was renewed at the expense of the political community.
In January 1794, both the Catholic and Protestant church bells were confiscated. In 1810, the Catholic "little church" received a new bell by the municipality of Weidenthal.
In the first half of the 19th century, the "little church" became increasingly inadequate for the rapidly flourishing village. For this reason, the parish council had been considering renovating or building a new Catholic church since 1845. In March 1873, the plans for the new church were drawn up by the later Chief Building Director, Privy Councillor Max von Siebert.
The foundation stone for the new church was laid on 28 July 1874, after the old "little church" had been demolished in April. Since the demolition, the Catholic congregation held its services first in the municipal council hall and later in the Protestant church.
On 1 October 1876, the church was consecrated, at least provisionally. The actual consecration of the church in honour of the two apostles Simon and Judas Thaddaeus, who had also been the patrons of the old "little church", was carried out by Bishop Josef Georg of Speyer on 29 June 1879.
Built in the neo-Gothic style, it is not ostentatious, contrary to the custom of the time. Pointed arches, buttresses and belt vaults dominate the building. The 50-metre-high tower, like the nave, has high, tracery-filled Gothic windows. The Catholic church is not exactly a magnificent monument of neo-Gothic style, but for rural conditions it is an impressive one. The 3 bells, like many others, fell victim to metal extraction during the First World War. As a replacement, three bronze bells in the tones g,a,h, cast at the expense of the political community, were put into service on 3 March 1923.
However, two of these three were again taken away for raw material extraction in March 1942. On 14 June 1945, the glass windows of the church were completely destroyed by bombs dropped by American fighter bombers and could not be replaced until 1946.
A completely new peal in the tones e, g, a was consecrated on 8 August 1948 by the then Bishop of Speyer, Dr. Josef Wendel. In late summer 1951, the church received an electric bell drive and in December of the same year an electric blower for the organ. In 1958 it was the turn of an electric heating system and in 1960 new windows were fitted.