Parish History

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On March 29th 1971, the Secretary of State for Education and Science directed that a Roman Catholic Primary School be established in the Urban District of Fulwood and be called "St. Clare's".

The title was chosen by Fr. Francis Worden, the Parish Priest of Our Lady & St. Edward's , as a parish had not yet been formally established. Fr Odran Callan was sent to start the new parish in the summer of 1971. He does not give the actual dates in his notes. He lived at 91, Sharoe Green Lane (now No. 146) and said Mass in the homes of parishioners. It was not possible to find a venue for a Sunday Mass until the first stage of the school was complete.

In the meantime, a class of children was being taught at the Manor House (roughly where the Casualty Department of the Royal Preston Hospital stands).

On November 2nd 1971, Mr Edwin Fox (Head Teacher) accompanied the 36 children (21 juniors and 15 infants), and two teachers from Our Lady & St. Edward's to the new school and Fr. Callan welcomed them.

On November 14th, the first Sunday Mass of St. Clare's was celebrated in the school, which continued to be the Sunday church until a temporary building was opened. There were, in fact, two Masses at 9:30am and 11 am (attendances 134 & 86).

The temporary church opened on the 7th May 1972 and was formally blessed and opened by Bishop Foley on 23rd July. Four hundred people attended. It was not long before the temporary church was bursting at the seams and permission was given to build a permanent church. Bishop Foley laid the foundation stone and the church was opened and blessed on Sunday 11th November 1979. It was consecrated on 1st June 1994.

Of those who were there at the beginning, the archive records Mr & Mrs Singleton as Sacristans and Mr Limb as Choirmaster. Sadly Mr & Mrs Singleton and Mr Limb have since died, however it was nice to see Mr Singleton receive the award of the 'Bene Merenti' medal in 1996 when the parish also celebrated its 25th Anniversary. He will be remembered for rendering sterling service in the sacristy, on the altar, supervising altar-servers and playing the organ.

 

December, 1967 The land for St. Clare's Parish was purchased by the late Fr. Pearson, R.I.P. from the late Mr.J. Moon, R.I.P.
August, 1971 A House in Sharoe Green Lane was purchased as a presbytery.

14th November, 1971
1st phase of school is built (Mass in School).
7th May, 1972 Temporary Church is built.
September, 1973 2nd phase of School is built
April, 1976 3rd phase of school is built.
September, 1978 Permanent Church and presbytery are started and are finished in 1979.
11th November 1979 Solemn blessing & opening of the present church
1st June 1994 Solemn Consecration of the church.