St. Edward's Parish was established in 1877 by Thomas J. Power, Bishop of St. John's. Prior to this date, St. Edward's, encompassing the whole of the south shore of Conception Bay, was administered as a mission of Holy Rosary Parish (est. 1833), centred in Portugal Cove.
The large geographical boundaries and the numerous communities that originally comprised the parish result in some considerable confusion in establishing its early organization. Most sources state that the church constructed in Kelligrews in 1882 by Rev. Michael Morris, second parish priest of St. Edward's, was the first Catholic church in the area. However, references exist to the presence of an earlier church at Topsail (The Daily Colonist, 31 Aug. 1889). In addition, the Diocese of St. John's acquired property at Manuels on which the parish presbytery and the Villa Nova Orphanage and Vocational School were built ca. 1885. This property, dubbed PowersCourt, is sometimes referred to as the centre of the parish. However, church records officially record the seat of the parish as Topsail. Thus, the centre of parish activity is somewhat ambiguous.
The principal church buildings in which mass was celebrated were located in Kelligrews and Topsail. The church built by Morris in 1882 was destroyed by fire in 1914. The cornerstone for a new church in Kelligrews was laid in 1917 and the structure was blessed by Archbishop E. P. Roche upon its completion on 14 August 1918. It was in use until 1989. The church located in Topsail (also named St. Edward's) was built some time between 1916 and 1922. It was in use until 1986. Mass also was occasionally celebrated at the various school chapels within the parish: Manuels, St. Thomas Line, and Donovans. However, as motor vehicle transportation became more readily available, the celebration of mass at the school chapels was gradually phased out.
Throughout its existence, St. Edward's Parish has supported numerous parochial schools. The first Catholic school was probably the one built by Rev. Morris in 1882 next to the original church in Kelligrews. The school and the church were destroyed in 1914 by the same fire; the school was replaced the following year by a new structure. Morris also started a vocational school at the Villa Nova Orphanage. However, this facility was short-lived and was later replaced by Mount Cashel in 1898. By the 1950s there were several schools located throughout the parish, including St. Thomas's in Topsail, St. Edward's in Kelligrews, St. Theresa's in Horse Cove, St. Joseph's in Manuels, and St. Anne's in Donovans. In the late 1970s, Holy Spirit School (later High School) was opened at PowersCourt in Manuels, phasing out many of the community schools in the area. Today, schools in Conception Bay South are no longer under church control as a result of denominational education reforms passed by the Provincial Government in 1997.
St. Edward's original parish boundaries extended from Seal Cove Bridge in the west to St. Anne's Siding (Donovans) on Topsail Road. However, these boundaries were radically altered when the parish was dismembered on 15 September 1982, resulting in the creation of two additional parishes, St. Thomas of Villanova and Holy Family. St. Thomas of Villanova includes the communities of Topsail Pond, Long Pond, Three Island Pond, Chamberlains, Manuels, and Topsail, which acts as its seat. Holy Family includes the communities of St. Thomas, formerly part of Holy Rosary Parish (Portugal Cove), and Paradise, which acts as its seat. St. Edward's includes the communities of Foxtrap, Upper Gullies, Seal Cove, and Kelligrews, which acts as the parish's new seat. Assets of the former St. Edward's Parish (Topsail) were distributed proportionately to the three new parishes that were formed from the division.
St. Edward's established a Parish Council in June 1983 to manage parish activities and affairs. Other committees and lay societies active in the administration of St. Edward's include the Finance Committee, the Youth Council, the Catholic Women's League, and the Knights of Columbus.
In 1985, a Building Committee was formed to help plan the construction of a modern church and parish hall. Approval for construction was given on 15 May 1989 and Archbishop James H. MacDonald officially opened and dedicated the new St. Edward's Church and Parish Centre on Longshore Road, Kelligrews, on 13 October 1991.
Pastors who have served the parish since its establishment include: Lawrence Vereker (1877-1879); Michael Morris (1879-1889); James J. McGrath (1889-1894); M. J. Ryan (1894-1897); William Jackman, Administrator (1897-1898); Edward P. Roche (1898-1906); James J. Coady (1906-1914); Thomas Nangle (1914-1918); Peter Kelly (1919-1927); Andrew Nolan (1927-1938); Robert A. St. John (1938-1948); Francis J. Jackman (1948-1977); Patrick J. Kennedy (1977-1979); John D. Hanton (1979-1987); Patrick J. Kennedy (1987-1998); and William Pomroy (1999- ).