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On Friday 13th October, St Alban’s RC Church in Warrington will celebrate 250 years of the Mission and the bicentenary of the Church with a Mass of celebration and thanksgiving celebrated by Archbishop Malcolm, who will preside, and Abbot Robert Igo OSB of Ampleforth, as well as other priests, parishioners, and friends.
In 1773, Mass was restored to Warrington permanently by the Monks of St Benedict. Mass was celebrated in a hall in what became known as Chapel Yard, where John Wesley preached.
This meant that, despite the persecution during the Reformation, Catholicism never fully vanished from the town – it drew its breath of survival from the monks, and this became the catalyst for its recovery in the area.
In1802, the Abbey of Ampleforth was opened, and it was from there that the monks continued the mission and established the parish when the present church of St Alban was built and opened in 1823.
It had accommodation for one thousand people, including 150 in the gallery. Over the years, some alterations had to be made to the church, such as the development of the sanctuary, and as the Catholic population grew other churches were born from it as the Benedictines continued to spread the faith.
It was in 1981 that the secular clergy from the archdiocese took over the parish. there are no longer any Benedictines in the town after they left St Mary’s, which was born out of St Alban’s.
Mass of Thanksgiving, Friday 13th October, 7.00pm – Celebrant, His Grace Archbishop Malcolm McMahon