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Our Early History

The architect of our church was Edmund Kirby 1838-1920. He was born in Birkenhead to Catholic parents and he also remained a devout Catholic all his life. Edmund was educated at Sedgely Park School and then at Oscott College where his talent as a draughtsman was brought to the attention of Edward Welby Pugin.

Edmund studied with Pugin for 5 years. He also spent time with John Douglas of Chester and John Hardman in Birmingham. In 1862 Edmund was admitted to the Royal Academy to study Architecture assisted by a written personal recommendation by Pugin.

Edmund set up his own practice in Birkenhead in 1867. Most of his work like his mentor was in the early English style of gothic architecture. The majority of his commissions were in the North West of England and included many Catholic Churches.

An extract obtained from Edmund’s diary dated Saturday March 14th 1868 details his visit by train to Tyldesley Station. He was met there by John Holland, Rev James Lennon of Newton and AK of Tyldesley. They then went to view the site of the proposed church at Hindsford. The entry concludes,  “ I thank God and give every benediction for a fine job” Our church was one of the first full commissions that Edmund undertook.

In 1887 the stained glass window of the Sacred Heart was installed in our church. It was designed and made by Meyer of Munich and London. The company was one of the first to re-introduce the lost art of stained glass making. In 1892 the Company was named by Pope Leo XIII, Pontifical Institute of Christian Art.    

Our Early History