Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The Beginnings of St Pauls Church Part 1

The following information was taken from "The History of the Parish of St Paul's Catholic Church Hyde" by B. Marshall MA: BA (theol);MIEE
The full account can be found here and a fabulous , informative read it is, too.


In June 1848, a place of Catholic Worship was established in Hyde by Father John Quealy, in a room above Solomon Wagstaffe’s Ironworks in Hamnett St. Father Quealy was the assistant priest at St Mary’s Dukinfield and he celebrated the first Mass in Hyde before 200 people.


The first full-time parish priest appointed to the new St Paul’s parish was Father John Reah from Mulberry St. As there was no living accommodation at the Mission in Hamnett St, Hyde, he lived at Furnace St, Dukinfield.

The group of Catholic families who went to St Paul’s were almost entirely
Irish and lived in the most undesirable parts of Hyde town and Newton. They were usually desperately poor, and often illiterate. The Hamnett St Chapel must have provided a great haven for the homesick immigrants even though it was probably sparsely furnished for it gave them a sense of belonging.
In 1852, Mr Ashton, owner of the Newton Banks Print Works gave Father John Reah a plot of land off Newton St in Newton Moor, to build a Catholic church, which was a testament to Father Reah’s hard work and dedication within the Parish.. Unfortunately he was replaced as the priest before any money was raised for the actual building of the church.


1 comment:

Tom said...

Very interesting Nancy... I look forward to Part 2 now.
The number of times Hamnett Street pops up on here shows it must have been a popular place at one time. People now would not know it was much longer before the motor way came through.