Our Lady of Mount Carmel
OUR Lady of Mount Carmel is in need of serious renovation with an overall cost of £60,000 please help us by donating or by holding a fund raising event. For more information contact Bernadette 0n 0161 740 3188.
The History of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
At the time of the restoration or the Roman Catholic hierarchy in September 1850 the only Roman Catholic church in the area north of Manchester city centre was St Patrick’s in Collyhurst. The next one going northwards was that of St John the Baptist in Rochdale, almost ten miles away. It was decided in 1851 to open a mission two miles north of Collyhurst in the village of Blackley, at that time almost two miles outside the city boundary. Blackley did not become part of the city of Manchester
A priest from St Patrick’s, a Father Hubbersty was asked to open the mission. In the first instance he acquired the use of a factory in William Place, a street off-Factory Lane in the area then known as Barnes Green. Whilst there he was able to acquire some land less than half a mile away in Old Road, in Blackley itself. His successor, a Father De-Blon managed to have a small church built on the site. It opened in l855and was known as the “Ivy Church” reflecting the ivy that covered the church and matching with the cottages alongside (most of which are still standing. In 1898Father Robert Hayes was appointed parish priest. He made, as his first project the replacement of the “Ivy Church”. He achieved his objective some fifty years after the church had been first opened. The church made way for the much larger church which stands to this day on the same site.
During the two years or so when there was no church in existence the Catholic people of Blackley and the surrounding area celebrated their religious services in Mount Carmel School which stood at that time in Shepherd Street, again in Barnes Green, opposite the swimming baths called “Harpurhey Baths” ( this is now part of Manchester College). In September 1908 the new church was duly opened and is still in full use today some 104 years later. It is treasured by its parishioners past and present and the local community. Father Hayes died in 1926 as a result of a fall in church and is commemorated in the large stained glass window behind the High Altar. The Church stands on a high Mount over looking the surrounding area and Boggart Hole Clough. Interesting when the church was built a stone cross was placed into the wall of the High Altar to keep away the ‘Boggarts’ and to protect the church. During this period between the opening of the new church and 1940 four other parishes were formed from parts of the original parish. These were St Dunstan’s Moston, St Anne’s Crumpsall, St. Clare’s Blackley and St. John Bosco, White Moss.