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ST. JOSEPH'S ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

 

Wellington Road

Todmorden

 

The Catholics had no place of worship before 1860 in Todmorden. The faithful would undertake the journey to Bacup or Rochdale for services and Mass. From 1860 a Priest came from Halifax to hear confessions at Knowlwood, Walsden, and in 1864 they gathered together to rent a room over an iron foundry in Salford, Todmorden, where Mass was first taken in the town. Two years later, they moved to the Oddfellows Hall in Todmorden.

The real beginning of St. Joseph's was in 1868 when they moved to rented premises at Back Ridge Street. The congregation wished to purchase land on which to build their own church, but sadly, there was great prejudice in the town, the result of which was that they were forbidden to buy any land. Undaunted, the members approached Lord Townley of Burnley, himself a staunch Catholic, who commissioned his own land agent to purchase a piece of land on Ridge Street in Todmorden on behalf of the  Todmorden Catholic congregation.

Work began on a school and church in 1873 and was completed in 1876. The school opened first, followed by the church 4 months later.

By 1928, the church was in urgent need of repair and it was deemed practical to build a new one, partly because the congregation had outgrown the building. A site was procured on Wellington Road and in April 1929, the new church was opened. The old building was used as a Men's Club and the school rooms were used for the Boy Scouts until the Second World War. The old church then became an air raid shelter and was finally demolished at the end of the war to make way for the Todmorden Community College. (Calder College).

 

The church still has a Primary School attached to it today. There is no burial ground. The Church was and is licensed for marriages.

 

 

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