Saint Mary's Catholic Church, Halifax:

St Mary's Catholic Church – aka St Marie's Catholic Church – stands at 35 Gibbet Street / Clarence Street.

Between 1830 and 1837, Catholics had worshipped at the Assembly Rooms in Woolshops and in Harrison Road – see Rev Joseph W. Fairclough and Rev Thomas Keily.

Irish immigration brought an increasing number of Catholics to the district, and St Mary's was built to serve the growing Catholic population in Halifax.

The foundation stone was laid in 1836. The Church opened in 1839

It accommodated 460 people.

Local papers described it as a

Popish Mass House

This was the first Roman Catholic church to be built in Halifax since Henry VIII and the Reformation.

F. A. Leyland gave a font, stained glass windows and a screen to the Church.

Because no Roman Catholic church could be consecrated until it was permanent and free from debt, the Church was only consecrated on 28th July 1934.

In October 1863, it was badly damaged by a storm.

Extensive renovations – designed by Ralph Nicholson – began in June 1864. These involved a square embattled tower about 75 ft high – with a belfry – and terminating in a slated spire.

It was restored by general subscription [1868].

It accommodated 700 worshippers.

Services were also conducted at St Joseph's School Room, Godley Bridge and Assembly Rooms, Halifax.

Details of the organ in the Church can be found in the National Pipe Organ Register.

In 1846, St Mary's school was built.

Priests at the Church have included


See St Alban's Catholic Church, Halifax, St Mary's Catholic Club, Halifax and St Mary's RC Church, Halifax Memorial

© Malcolm Bull 2022
Revised 13:13 / 19th January 2022 / 6125

Page Ref: X347

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