Our Lady and St Hubert, Great Harwood - Roman Catholic
St Hubert Street,
James Lomax of Clayton Hall gave land and built a church, house, and schools to form the mission of Our Lady and St. Hubert. The mission was opened in a small temporary chapel on June 28, 1857. Canon W. Dunderdale was the first Rector. The Catholic population at the time was only 78. On September 8, 1858, the foundation stone of the new church was laid by Bishop Turner and on November 1 the following year the church was completed and consecrated. Two days later it was solemnly opened by Bishop Turner and Bishop Richard Roskell, then Bishop of Nottingham and formerly Provost of Salford, preached the first sermon.
In 1868 the parish opened St. Hubert's Hall and Reading Room. A new organ was installed in the church the following year. Canon Dunderdale was made Canon Theologian of the Diocese by Bishop Vaughan.
The patron of the mission, James Lomax, died in 1886 and was buried in the vault below the Lady Chapel. The following year Canon Dunderdale died and was buried with two of his brothers, also priests (John and Richard), at St. Hubert's. Canon Dunderdale was absent from the parish between November 1855 and February 1886, as he had been persuaded to accept the position of President at Ushaw, but he soon resigned because of ill-health and returned to Great Harwood. His brother, Father Richard Dunderdale, died at St. Mary's, Blackburn, in August 1887, and the Canon died the following October. The Dunderdales were a Bolton family that ultimately derived from Chipping and a long line of Catholic ancestors.
The long term served by Fr. Henry Hill as Rector from 1887 until 1920 covers many eventful years. The new mission at St. Wulstan's was opened in 1912 by Fr. Patrick Wren, who had been curate for several years at St. Hubert's.
Fr. Hill was well-known throughout the diocese as a Religious Inspector. He was one of the last of the old type of Ushaw men- the quiet, dignified gentlemen of Victorian days.
The Rt. Rev. John S. Vaughan, Bishop of Sebastopolis and Auxiliary in Salford, was Rector from 1920 until his death in 1925. He was buried at Great Harwood.
Canon Osmund Woods was parish priest until 1940. Since then the parish has lost two parish priests in the persons of Canon Thomas Sharrock and Fr. Victor Mann.
Taken from "Salford Diocese and its Catholic past", a survey by Charles A. Bolton, a Priest of the above Diocese. Published 1950 on the First Centenary for the Diocese of Salford.
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