St Augustine, Chorlton on Medlock, Roman Catholic


St Augustine,
Grosvenor Square,



The church had a graveyard in Granby Row. The graveyard was excavated in 1875 and the human remains re-interred at St.Josephs Cemetery, Moston.


Church History

1st_site:Granby Row 1820 - 1908 (church sold to Manchester Corporation)
2nd_site:York Street 1908 - 1940 (church destroyed in Blitz)
3rd_site:i.) Grosvenor Square, All Saints (Chorlton on Medlock) 1940
(note from Salford Diocesan Almanac 2007: St Augustine's parish moved to the Holy Family church, Grosvenor Square, which had been a chapel of ease to St Augustine's before becoming an independent parish. Reverted to chapel of ease in 1908 when St Augustine's new church in York St opened. After Blitz, became site of present St Augustine's parish).
ii.) Grosvenor Square, All Saints (Chorlton on Medlock) 1968 - present (new Parish Church & Chaplaincy Centre, by Desmond Williams & Assoc. 1967-8).



I will try to set down some memories of St, Augustine's, Granby Row as told to me by an old lady who was a parishioner for very many years. She was there in the time of Canon Wilding and Fr. William Burke. She spoke of the wonderful Missions. The first Mass was at five o'clock, as the people had to be at work at six. At one of these Missions, she remembers hearing the great Father Anthony preach. She also described the Church as it was decorated for Quarant' Ore - and Feasts of the Blessed Sacrament. The Church had pillars leading to the Gallery which went all round the Church. These pillars were adorned with flowers and garlands, and at the level of the gallery with a lighted candle. The gallery was festooned with red and white and there were also bunches of grapes and wheat. When the candles on the altar were alight, this being very high, with a lot of steps leading to it, the sight was very beautiful. Of the two side altars, the Lady Altar was erected by the Children of Mary in 1883 to the memory of Canon Wilding. The picture in the Sacred Heart Altar was brought from Paray-le-Monial by Canon Wilding. These were the Altars which were in York Street, until replaced by the marble ones erected by the late Dean Dunleavy.

Some of the things that I remember most about the old Church are the High Mass on Sundays, the Blessed Sacrament Processions, with the men and boys walking, and the Guild of the Blessed Sacrament, watching, looking like Nuns in habits and veils; the Missions, the Holy Year celebrations at the beginning of the century, going in procession from Granby Row to Belle Vue to join in the great demonstration against the Education Bill-The Canon's great fighting spirit when anything threatened the schools-The procession from Granby Row to York Street for the laying of the foundation stone for the new church-and finally the last Sunday Service before the closing.


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Two recent Rectors of the parish have been outstanding characters in the Diocese-Canon George Richardson and Monsignor Poock. Canon Richardson came of a family of dis tinguished converts from Derby. His father was known as the first Catholic lawyer in Manchester. Father Richardson's chief interest as a priest was in Catholic education. From 1887 he was head of the Diocesan Inspectors and took active part in the work. He was an able member of the Catholic Education Council of Great Britain. He was largely responsible for the establishment of the Catholic Training College at Sedgley Park under the Faithful Companions of Jesus.

In spite of many calls upon him from outside his parish, he was always devoted to the pastoral charge of souls and was a true friend of the poor. When he died on June 10, 1909, many suffered a great loss, and the Diocese was deprived of one of its most distinguished and capable servants. Besides being a great priest he was a fine English gentleman.

Canon Anselm Poock was generally known as Monsignor Poock. He is still a legend in the Diocese, partly because of his physical eminence, and more so because of his deeply spiritual character and unselfish devotedness to whatever task he had in hand. He was born at Ipswich in 1864, and was first a Baptist and then an Anglican. He was received as a convert by Bishop Herbert Vaughan when he was 21. He underwent the severe training of Salford Catholic Grammar School, and then from 1887 was seven years at Ushaw. In 1894 he studied for a time at Bonn and then went to Saint Sulpice in Paris, where the training left a permanent impression on his out look. He was ordained at Salford in 1896 and appointed as curate at the Cathedral. In 1900 he became Procurator at St. Bede's College and after three years succeeded Dr. Casartelli as Rector. He was entirely devoted to the spiritual and temporal welfare of the College, and kept it in close touch with the clergy of the Diocese. He travelled far and wide as a preacher.

As Rector of St. Augustine's from 1912, he became a prominent citizen of Manchester and often sat on Town Hall Committees, more especially those concerned with the poor. His one recreation was music and playing the organ.

Shortly before his death he helped to form the first Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes (1924). He died suddenly in 1926, having refused to rest, saying with his characteristic solemnity: "Unfortunately I have a conscience."

St. Augustine's was destroyed during the Christmas bombardment of Manchester in 1940. An assistant priest, Father George Street, was killed and Dean Dunleavy was injured. Father George Street, a devoted priest, had formerly been associated with the Catholic Land Movement.

Since the destruction of the fine old church, the congregation has taken refuge in the small Holy Family church. Thus St. Augustine's has twice lost its church. The fine building built by Palmer in Granby Row was sold to Manchester Corporation and a larger church opened in York Street, 1908.


1820-1824JOHN ASHURST"Martyr of Charity"
1824-1841JAMES CROOK 
1841-1853WILLIAM TURNER1st Bishop of Salford
1853-1859ROBERT CROSKELL2nd. Provost of Salford
1859-1883JAMES WILDINGCanon of Salford
1883-1888WILLIAM BURKEjoined C.SS.R.
1888-1909GEORGE RICHARDSONCanon of Salford
1909-1912WILLIAM WOOKEYlater P.P. St. Thomas, Salford
1912-1918ANSELM POOCKCanon of Salford, Priv. Chamb. of H.H.
 Parish Priests 
1918-1926ANSELM POOCK 

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.

Holy Family was founded in 1876. It started out as a chapel of ease to St Augustine and then became a parish in it's own right. After St Augustine's re-opened in York St. Holy Family, reverted to a chapel of ease. Wnen York St was destroyed it again became a parish church dedicated to St Augustine & Holy Family.



It is located at SJ8418997051 (Lat/Lon 53.469951, -2.239645). You can see this on maps provided by:

It is located at SJ8436297282 (Lat/Lon 53.472036, -2.237058). You can see this on maps provided by:

It is located at SJ8460397730 (Lat/Lon 53.47607, -2.233449). You can see this on maps provided by: