Southport Road, Lydiate, Merseyside
(Jointly with St. Gregory’s, Liverpool Road, Lydiate)
History of Our Lady’s Church
The church of Our Lady was built in 1856. Until then, Lydiate had been without a Catholic Church since St. Katherine’s Chapel, in the grounds of Lydiate Hall, had been destroyed in the late 1500’s.
When the new church was built, it was served by Jesuits who resided in nearby Lydiate Hall until the new presbytery was built about 25 years later. The priests were sent from the College of St. Francis Xavier in Liverpool and a frequent visitor to Lydiate was the Jesuit priest and poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.
The church has changed little over the past 150 years but the steeple above the tower was found to be unsafe in the 1950’s and was dismantled. In the grounds of the church there is a fine war memorial and a rare Tudor mile cross which was unearthed in a field in Downholland. Crosses such as these were placed along a route leading to the nearest church.
Inside the church can be seen stained glass windows which show clear links with the struggle to keep the Catholic faith alive in Lydiate during penal times. The most recently installed window depicts St. Catherine’s chapel and the Slipper Chapel in Walsingham, two of only a handful of pre-reformation churches that are still in Catholic hands. Part of the reredos from the original altar in St. Katherine’s Chapel can be seen in the present church. The figure of St. Cuthbert was a gift from the parish of St, Cuthbert’s Halsall in the late 15th Century to the people of Lydiate.
The plain benches and clean lines of Our Lady’s give a feeling of austerity which befits a country parish church but it has, nonetheless, a simpleness and beauty.
Article written by David Witter
Mass Times at Our Lady’s
|Holydays and others||As announced|
|First Friday of the month||7.30 pm|
Sunday Masses at St. Gregory’s are held at 6.30 on Saturday, 8.00 am and 11.00 am on Sunday
Saturdays 10.30 to 11.00 am at St. Gregory’s
Telephone: 0151 526 0362
The Parish Group meets regularly (anyone is welcome) and format ideas and plans to improve our wonderful Church for the benefit of all.
Annual May Procession.
Annual Open Air Mass by the remains of St. Katherine’s Chapel.