Church - St Mary & St John

St Mary & St John Catholic Church
Crow Lane East
WA12 9UD

Location - The Church is located in Newton-le-willows, on Crow Lane East.

Parking - The parking for the church is shared with Primary School next door.
The entrance is by the church then turn right onto the primary school car park.

Time - The ceremony will take place at 12.00 noon.

Toilets - The church has a toilet; this will be available until 11.45am and again following the service.

Church History
The  church  is  a  good  example  of  a  mid-19th   century  Gothic  Revival church by an established London architect.  The architectural forms are conventional,  but  there  are some  original  features, such as  the  west window. The interior  has been re-ordered  more  than  once,  but still retains something of its original character.

Newton is an old settlement which expanded very rapidly after the building of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway through the district in 1830.    Rapid industrialisation followed, which later brought a considerable Irish immigrant population. The Catholics of Newton-le-Willows were served by the mission at St Oswald’s in Ashton from the early 1820s.  In 1861 Fr John Lennon was appointed as the first priest of a new mission in Newton.  A site for a new church was given by Lord Newton; the site was a piece of waste ground containing a clay pit and the new church was built on the south bank of the pit. The spire was added in 1880.

Additional Information:
Catholic church. 1864, spire 1880. By E Blount. Rock-faced stone with ashlar dressings, slate roof. Nave with aisles under lean-to roofs, NW steeple, chancel with flanking gabled chapels. Tower has setback buttresses and lancets; paired lancet bell openings; splayed spire. West end has pointed entrance and spherical triangle window. 6-bay nave has paired lancet aisle windows and triple lancet clerestory windows; one squat buttress to north, and confessionals and vestry to south. Canted chancel has clasping buttresses and cornice with animal heads, windows of 2 lights. Interior: Arches between chapels and chancel and aisles, on corbels in form of busts including S.S. Mary and John and contemporary bishop and pope. Reredoses to chapels remain, that to chancel removed.

Additional points:
  • The church is built of Upholland stone with red sandstone stone dressings.
  • The spherical triangle west window is unusually large.
  • The Lady altar was installed in 1920.
  • The church was part refurbished in the 1950s by F.X. Velarde and the nave altar and hanging Rood may be by him.   There was apparently a Velarde triptych, which has been removed.
  • The Stations of the Cross are by David John.
  • Church and presbytery are linked by extensive single-storey sacristies leading from the southeast corner of the church. The presbytery was enlarged 1899-1900.