By using this site, you agree to its use of cookies as provided in our policy.

St. Mary’s Catholic Church – Bradford, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 47.781 W 001° 44.610
30U E 582762 N 5961596
Quick Description: This publicly funded Roman Catholic Church was built in 1876 and sadly closed in 2008.
Location: Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 3/12/2013 3:49:06 PM
Waymark Code: WMGJGH
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 0

Long Description:
The parish was founded in 1823, the first St Mary's church built by 1825 and then this building constructed in 1876.

Bradford had grown rapidly in Victorian times with its principal industry being woollen textile mills. It had a large migrant population but in particular from Ireland.

According to this local history website "Bradford had the highest proportion of Irish-born people in Yorkshire - around 10% of the city's population". "A large proportion came from rural Mayo and Sligo. 75% of those coming from these areas could not read or write English and on top of that one-third of those could not speak English. They had difficulties in fitting into the industrial urban environment of 19th Century Bradford, and sought companionship and security with their relatives and former neighbours from Ireland.

Ethnic concentrations like those in Nelson Court and Bedford Street were recognisable in the 1840s and they persisted until the end of the century. Incomes were low and rents were relatively high. The Irish settlers overcame this difficulty by choosing to live in houses with low rents, and by sharing the cost of house room with others."

"The Catholic Church played a dominant role, providing political and social leadership. The Catholics built their first place of worship in 1824-25 in Bradford, St. Mary's Church."

The church and prebytery is a Grade II English Heritage listed building. The listing states that it is a "large, towerless, Gothic church of sandstone "brick" with ashlar dressings." and that "St Mary's was built as the Roman Catholic Mother Church of Bradford, principally due to the efforts of Canon John Motler, parish priest 1865-81. Much of the construction was carried out by the parishioners themselves."

Eventually many people from the Irish community moved out of the area and were replaced by a large immigrant population from Asia. The church's congregation became too small to support such a large church and it eventually closed in 2008.

This website tells us that the church "has been gifted to the homeless charity Emmaus. Emmaus has a unique approach to tackling the issues of homelessness. They provide a working community where the homeless 'Companions' as we prefer to call them are not only given a bed but also opportunities to work and contribute within the community. The plans for St Mary's are to restore the building and convert it into an Emmaus Community which will provide accommodation for approximately 22 Companions to live in. The building will also house a furniture recycling business and cafe open to the public and it is also hoped there will be provision of a prayer/quiet room which local people will still be able to use."
Type of Church: Church

Status of Building: Unrestored ruin

Date of organization: 1/1/1823

Date of building construction: 1/1/1876

Dominant Architectural Style: Gothic

Associated Shrines, Art, etc.: Madonna and Child on Presbytery wall near church entrance.

Archdiocese: Liverpool

Diocese: Leeds

142 East Parade
Bradford, West Yorkshire United Kingdom

Relvant Web Site: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
To log a visit to this waymark, you must post at least one original photo of the site, give the date and a brief description of your visit.
Search for... Google Map
Google Maps
Bing Maps Maps
Nearest Waymarks
Nearest Roman Catholic Churches
Nearest Geocaches
Nearest Benchmarks
Nearest Hotels
Create a scavenger hunt using this waymark as the center point
Recent Visits/Logs:
There are no logs for this waymark yet.