The Parish

The parish of St Chad extends from the north part of Deansgate (between the Anglican cathedral and Chethams School, past the MEN Arena and Strangeways Prison up Cheetham Hill Road, taking in the area either side. It finishes on Smedley Lane and Bellott Street towards Crumpsall.

Every Catholic who lives within the boundaries of the parish has the right to the sacraments and ministrations of the parish clergy.

Catholics living outside of the parish can also celebrate Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals here with the permission of their Parish Priest.

A view up the old Roman Road of York Street (now Cheetham Hill Road)

From An Historical Record of St Chad's Parish (Mother Parish of Manchester)

by the Rt Revd Philip Hughes, sometime Professor of Church History at the Catholic University, Indiana, USA, and sometime Assistant Curate at St Chad's.

To write the history of St Chad's Parish would be to write the story of the return of the old Faith to Manchester, for the foundation of the Parish was the first public sign of the Faith after two hundred years of proscription and it was around the first St Chad's Church that in the late eighteenth century, the Catholic Faith was to come once more into its inheritance.

For nearly fifty years the first St Chad's endured. From it were founded St Mary's, Mulberry Street and St Augustine's, Granby Row. On 22nd September 1845 the old chapel and appurtenances were sold. The Manchester Guardian stated, "The Catholics are making great exertions to raise a fund for the erection of a new St Chad's in the place of this old chapel; and a plot of land, belonging to the Earl of Derby, has been bought for the site, on the east side of York Street, Cheetham Hill Road, on which it is intended to erect a handsome Gothic edifice, with a residence adjoining for four priests."

The new Church was opened with all possible pomp and circumstance on Wednesday 4th August 1847, the day after the solemn consecration to the glory of God and the honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St Chad. The Manchester Guardian, that had already described the church itself at some length, gave an account of the ceremony. The Celebrant was Bishop George Brown at that time Vicar Apostolic of the Lancashire District and later (after the Restoration of the Hierarchy in 1850) the first Bishop of Liverpool. Mr Turner (secular priests were at that time always styled 'Mr.') Rector of St Chad's from 1835-41 and Vicar General, was the assistant priest. He was afterwards named as the first Bishop of Salford. The deacon of the Mass was another Bishop-to-be, Dr. Roskell later to become Bishop of Nottingham. Some eighty-five clergy took part and a congregation of over 1000. It is on record that the singing was disappointingly poor, thanks to the breakdown of the old organ, brought over from the old chapel in Rook Street for a last performance! On record too that the admission money and collection brought £96, a great sum of money in 1847.