St. Joseph RC Church, Wigan
The Final Mass at St. Joseph's Church, Wigan - A Mass of Thanksgiving - took place on 27th October 1995 before the church closed for services for good.
It achived Grade II listed status yet Historic England’s register of listed buildings could have worked against it by limiting the redevelopment options. Proposals for renovations have been rejected whislt the sunday school next door has long been redeveloped into flats.
Planning permission was obtained back in 2002 to convert the building into a rock climbing centre but nothing came of it.
The first Parish Priest was Father Henry John Lamon, who was joined in 1875 by Father William Kearney, and, in 1878, when the new church was built, by Father Patrick Monaghan.
A smaller Roman Catholic place of worship and a Methodist chapel had previously stood on the site.
The church originaly belonged to the Primitive Methodists. The building was purchased by the Roman Catholics for use as a place of worship and the existing chapel had been enlarged considerably and almost completely re-built. It was to accommodate 500-600 people at a cost of £3,000 in total. The house at the side of the church had been purchased as a residence for the Priest. The builder was a Mr. Aspinall, based in Caroline St. The church was then opened on a Sunday, dedicated to St. Joseph.
For the next fifty years, three priests usually served the Parish - and it is perhaps worthy to note that the first Mass on Holydays at that time was 5.00 a.m.
More than seven hundred and fifty people attended the old church to pray within its walls for the last time with the final words of Archbishop Warlock:
"As we lament the passing of this old and lovely church building, we rejoice that the Church's heart beats strongly still, that faithful parishioners are, by God's grace, faithful still - to sing His praise, to serve Him in one another, to give thanks for blessings received, and to entrust to Him our hopes for the future, now on earth and for ever in heaven".