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Our Parish

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A little bit about our parish.

Until the end of the First World War in 1918, Catholics from Eccleston walked to Mawdesley for mass on Sunday mornings.

In 1919 mass began to be celebrated in the house at the end of Grove Crescent, which at that time was a chip shop, serving the cotton mill across the road.

Building of the present church began in 1919 and was completed in 1922. It remained a Chapel of Ease to Mawdesley parish until 1954, when it became a parish in its own right. The apse was added in 1958, and the tower in 1963. In 1990 the church was reordered by architect, Peter Gilbey. As many of the original furnishings as possible were kept and restored to blend in with the new surroundings.

In 2016 a ramp to facilitate access for disabled people was added, designed to harmonise with the existing building.

Many of our current parishioners remember attending services with their parents or grandparents, including Mass, Benediction, Baptisms, nuptial Mass, and requiems; to name but a few of the acts of worship celebrated here over the decades.  For many, the church itself is almost like one of the family.

Perhaps this is partly why the parish of St Agnes is such a warm and welcoming one, with its long-standing sense of community and inclusion.  It may be to do with the inspiring leadership of our late parish priest of 29 years, Father Michael O’Dowd, who left a powerful legacy of faith and worship. We are all indebted to him, and we look forward to praying with our new parish priest, Fr Anders, who will add St Agnes to his other parish, in Mawdesley.

In addition to the formal, spiritual dimension of our parish activity, we enjoy several social events each year – some which are arranged as fundraisers, some because we just enjoy each other’s company.  There is probably an age gap of about 92 years between our oldest and youngest parishioner, with a wide range of interests, skills and experiences among us leading to complementary blend, and a good community atmosphere.

At St Agnes we come together to pray, to sing, to learn, and to support each other; and new parishioners are always welcome.

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