"Sacred Heart Hindsford Worshipping Community
It is 150 years this year that the worshipping community of Sacred Heart was founded. Baptism's and masses were celebrated in a small chapel installed above the stables of The Star & Garter Inn located on the market square at Tyldesley. The priest at that time was Father James Lennon. It was to be a further 4 years before the church of the Sacred Heart was to be built and opened on its current site at Hindsford. Deo gratias."
An article in the Tyldesley, Atherton & Leigh Journal
Thursday March 13th 2008
Emotions run high over future of church
By Brian Gomm
The future of a listed building which was the heart of a
village community is again in doubt.
A cloud hung over the historic Church of the Sacred Heart alongside Tyldeley Road at Hindsford when in October 2000 a decision was made to demolish the church buildings and build a new church on the same site.
The intention was to eliminate the need to use limited funds to maintain and repair the buildings but the loss of such an impressive landmark was seen as a step too far by some parishioners who successfully secured Grade 2 listed building status for Sacred Heart in the summer of 2001.
Now the community is preparing to renew the battle and secure the future of the buildings for wider community use.
Mrs Barbara Howell, who heads the group dedicated to preserving the fine old building, explained: "There was an expectation that the buildings would be safe, and applications for repairs would be made to various funding organisations such as the Heritage Lottery Fund.
"Sadly this was not the case.
"Following an emotionally charged final service, the doors were closed for worship in July 2004. Since that time a committee of volunteers have maintained the lawns and gardens and organised community events in the church grounds.
"The future of the buildings are now once again in doubt. Liverpool Diocesan Trustees have applied to the Charity Commission to vary the trust deed which if successful may result in the buildings being offered for sale.
"A draft scheme has now been published. Copies of this can be seen at St Richard's Presbytery, Mayfield Street, Atherton or on the Charity Commission website. There is a period of one month during which time objections or recommendations can be submitted to the Charity Commission.
"Our built heritage is too important to ignore.
"Once it is gone it is gone forever. Sacred Heart Church has been a focal point in the Hindsford Community since 1869. It stands proud in an area which has seen substantial residential and commercial renovation over the years."
Mrs Howell is urging those who wish to see the buildings preserved for wider community use to visit the website: www.sacredheartrchindsford.co.uk
or contact her on 01942 879416.
A Legal Notice published in the Classified section of the
Leigh Journal dated: Thursday 28th February 2008
CHARITY: SACRED HEART CHURCH,
REFERENCE: 4010052 / 638875
The Charity Commission proposes to make a Scheme to amend
the trusts of this Charity. A copy of the draft scheme can be seen
at St. Richard’s Parish House, Mayfield Street, Atherton. M46 0AQ
or a copy can be obtained by sending
a stamped addressed envelope to:
Charity Commission Direct,
PO Box 1227,
quoting the above reference or visiting our website at
Comments or representations can be made
within one month from today to the
Charity Commission address as stated above quoting the above reference
Comments or representations can also be submitted via email, quoting the above reference number to:
English Heritage, Wigan Township Forum
We are pleased to report that with your help and the help of English Heritage, Wigan Township Forum, Councillors, our story has been told, we have been featured in The Catholic Herald, The Tablet, The Times and our local newspaper, the Leigh Journal who by your and their intervention have recognised our plight and have supported us throughout our campaign so far. We have together managed to forestall the imminent demise of our Church and Presbytery in that the Charity Commission has not accepted the Scheme submitted by Liverpool Archdiocese to wavier the Church Deeds to accommodate its sale and or demolition, in either case the land would have been made available to developers. It is not quite clear where the proceeds would have eventually ended up, although it has been suggested that St. Richard’s, Atherton could well have been a beneficiary.
We will continue to raise our profile as members of the Parish Council and urge you all to support us in our endeavours, much more has to be done in order that we can once more bring our Church back into our lives and into the heart of our community. We seek your support in all aspects of our campaign and we can only go forward with your support and approval, we welcome any constructive criticism, any idea’s, any new ways in which we can together bring life back into our faith community.
We ask your prayers for Sacred Heart through our Blessed Lady, Mother of Our Lord, Jesus Christ that she may intercede for us.
The Charity Commission
The Charity Commission have returned the application to vary the Trust Deed of the Church of the Sacred Heart back to the Liverpool Diocesan Trustees without making a scheme as they have not made a strong enough case.
Parishioners may not be aware but the church deeds of 1868 contain two caveats stating the Church cannot be demolished and must only be used exclusively for Roman Catholic worship.
We are reminded that each local community of Catholics shares in the
"true equality in dignity and action whereby all cooperate in the building
up of the body of Christ" Canon 208.
Local communities are stable gatherings of Christians in which the Spirit dwells,
no parish is more privileged than another, and no parish is second-
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