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Catholic Church of St Oswald and St Edmund Arrowsmith facts for kids

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St Oswald and St Edmund Arrowsmith
Catholic Church of St Oswald and St Edmund Arrowsmith, Ashton-in-Makerfield
Church of St Oswald and St Edmund Arrowsmith.jpg
OS grid reference SJ5756298889
Location Ashton-in-Makerfield
Country United Kingdom
Denomination Roman Catholic
Website St Oswald and St Edmund Arrowsmith Parish
Status Active
Dedication St Oswald & St Edmund Arrowsmith
Relics held Hand of Edmund Arrowsmith
Functional status Parish church
Heritage designation Grade II
Designated 1988
Architect(s) J. K. Brocklesby
Style Romanesque
Completed 1930
Deanery Wigan
Archdiocese Liverpool

The Catholic Church of St Oswald and St Edmund Arrowsmith is located on Liverpool Road in Ashton-in-Makerfield, Greater Manchester, England.


The first Catholic church on the site was built in 1822. The old church was demolished and the foundation stone of the new building was laid in 1925.

The present church was constructed in the Romanesque style and completed in 1930, with the architect being J. K. Brocklesby. The bell tower, on the right of the facade is a notable landmark with its green copper pyramid roof that can be seen on the drive into Ashton from Stubshaw Cross. The interior has two saucer domes and an apse. The altar itself has marble flooring and four red carpets. It has four seats either side for the Altar servers to be seated. At the back of the altar is the Tabernacle, and eight candles. Above the altar are stained glass windows of saints designed by Harry Clarke.

The presbytery and the church gates, which both date from 1822, are also Grade II Listed.

Nikolaus Pevsner described the church as "totally outdated" but "ambitious" and "impressive".


The church houses a holy relic, the hand of St Edmund Arrowsmith, who was one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.

Parish priests

  • Canon James O'Meara 1896–1946
  • Fr John Joseph McLaughlin 1946–1950
  • Canon Robert Wilfrid Meagher 1950–1970
  • Canon Francis J Ripley 1970–1991
  • Fr Brian Newns 1991–2019
  • Fr John Gorman 2019–
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