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St Mary's Church, Wigan facts for kids

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St Mary's Church
St Mary's Church, Standishgate
St Mary's Church, Wigan (2).JPG
Church entrance
Coordinates: 53°33′01″N 2°37′39″W / 53.5503°N 2.6276°W / 53.5503; -2.6276
OS grid reference SD5851306150
Location Wigan, Greater Manchester
Country United Kingdom
Denomination Roman Catholic
History
Status Active
Founder(s) Fr Charles Middlehurst
Dedication St Mary
Architecture
Functional status Parish church
Heritage designation Grade II
Designated 24 October 1951
Architectural type Gothic Revival
Groundbreaking 17 March 1818
Completed 27 January 1819
Administration
Parish St Mary and St John
Deanery Wigan
Archdiocese Liverpool

St Mary's Church is a Roman Catholic Parish church in the Standishgate area of Wigan, Greater Manchester. It was built in 1818 and is a Grade II* listed building. It is in the Wigan deanery of the Archdiocese of Liverpool. It is within 200 feet of another Catholic church, St John's Church. They were built in a spirit of competition with each other.

History

St Mary's RC Church and Convent, Standishgate, Wigan - geograph.org.uk - 856192
Church with its convent on the right

Foundation

On 17 March 1818, its foundation stone was laid; less than a year later, on 27 January 1819, the church was opened.

Originally, the church also known as The Hidden Gem, was served by a priest from St Mary's Church, Manchester. It was only with the restoration of the English Catholic hierarchy in 1850 that the church became part of the archdiocese of Liverpool.

Extensions

With the Catholic population growing, the church was extended and reopened on 19 October 1851. Those present at the ceremony were the Bishop of Liverpool, George Brown and the Bishop of Southwark, Thomas Grant. A new Lady Chapel was opened two weeks later.

In 1859, a Fr Gerard O’Reilly became Rector of the church and, during his time, the organ was rebuilt in 1861, and new pews were installed in 1867.

In 1933, when the Society of Jesus handed over the nearby St John's church to the archdiocese, the two churches began to work in conjunction with each other.

Parish

The church has two Sundays Masses, one at 9:00am and the other at 4:30pm, so that its times do not conflict with St John's church next door. St Mary's Church and St John's Church were united for several years in a single parish. Following a reorganisation of the Wigan pastoral area in 2017 St Mary's again became a one-church parish, with St John's forming a new parish which also included St Patrick's Church.

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