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Westhoughton, Sacred Heart of Jesus RC Church Baptisms 1873-1907 (Download)


Westhoughton, Sacred Heart of Jesus RC Church Baptisms 1873-1907 (Download)


The parish grew from the district Served by SS. Peter and Paul's church In Bolton. A workshop in Albion Street, Wingates, today marks the place first used as a chapel. It had been a weaving shed and then a Methodist chapel. Canon Carter of Bolton opened the chapel in 1873, helped by the generosity of the Gerrard, Tempest, and Stonor families. Solemn High Mass was sung at the opening of the chapel.

In 1876 Fr. McDermott Roe became the first resident priest, and lived at first in Church Street. Father Marringer was Rector for three years from 1877 and started the elementary school by dividing off part of the building. Several priests did duty here for a period, Fr. Willemse, Fr. Hampson, and Fr. Mitchell. Bishop Vaughan confirmed here in 1881.

Father W. H. Palmer became Rector in 1892. By his zeal and energy a new church and school were built. He secured a good site in Lord Street and on July 7, 1894, a procession of priests and faithful escorted the Bishop from Albion Street to the new site. Here the Bishop laid the foundation stone of the new school, which was opened in December.

Father Beulink was Rector in 1897 and was followed by Fr. Colenbier, who worked here until 1912. Fr. Colenbier had the honour of receiving a personal letter of thanks from Leopold II of Belgium for defending the Belgian administration of the Congo.

Since then Fr. Vereker was Rector for four years, and Father Frederick Barton was here from 1916 to 1932. He was the first priest to be buried at Wardley. In recent years Fr. Peter Taylor and Fr. Joseph B. Brosnan (since 1937) have, been parish priests here.

The above description is based on information published in "Salford Diocese and its Catholic past", a survey by Charles A. Bolton, a Priest of the above Diocese. Published 1950 on the First Centenary for the Diocese of Salford.

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