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St Mary and St John the Baptist Roman Catholic, Pleasington

St Mary and St John the Baptist,
Sandy Lane,


The church has/had a graveyard.

Church History

It was founded before 1817.

The extremely handsome church of unusual style at Pleasington near Blackburn was built as a thanksgiving offering by a local gentleman, Mr. John Francis Butler, whose family came from the Fylde. The building was completed in 1819 and was the work of a Manchester Catholic architect called John Palmer, who showed what could be done in Gothic before Pugin's Gothic revival. From the point of view of architecture, the church is one of the most interesting in the diocese, and obviously impressed the imagination of our grandfathers to earn the name of "Priory." Furthermore, the church has captured something of the devotional and impressive atmosphere of the ancient sanctuaries.

The church has even more of interest than architecture. Under the altar lies buried the body of a Roman martyr, St. Publianus. An inscription on the covering states that the body was given in Rome to John Butler, the builder of the church. Although the seals are intact, the certificate has been lost, unless it is in the papers of the Butler Bowden family.

The church has some beautiful old silver plate, notably a monstrance and thurible bearing the de Hoghton crest. At one time such was the danger from thieves that anything of value had to be removed at night from the church.

The candlesticks on the high altar are tall and of solid brass so that it is as much as a man can do to lift them. They bear the arms of the Cliftons of Lytham.

Fr. Edward Kenyon, a friend of the Founder, was here from 1816 to 1828, when he retired to Woolston.

The following priests have served the parish during its long existence: 1828-1834 Fr. P. Orrell; 1834-1839 Fr. T. Holden; 1840-1845 Bishop Sharples; 1846-1878 Fr. John Peduzzi, R.D.; 1879 Fr. D. O'Brien; 1880 Fr.T. Quick; 1881-1890 Fr. H. Mulvany; 1890-1915 Fr. J. Lawless; 1915-1830 Fr. Anthony Van der Beek; 1930-1932 Fr. J. Bannon; 1932 Fr. Herbert Bonney.

From the time of its building, the church has had a cemetery attached, and Catholic families for miles have made this the burial place of their dead. No doubt the dignity and beauty of the ''Priory'' and the pleasantness of the natural setting have made this a place of peace that attracts visitors and pilgrims all the year round.

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.

This site provides historical information about churches, other places of worship and cemeteries. It has no connection with the churches etc. themselves. For current information you should contact them directly.

Church Records


The church is located at OS grid reference SD6428526652 (Lat/Lon 53.735023,-2.542903). You can see this on maps provided by: