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St James' Church, Haslingden
St John's Church, Bacup
St Mary's, Church Rawtenstall
St Mary's RC Church
St Mary's Roman Catholic Church
Bury Rd, Haslingden

In 1854 Fr. Thomas Martin started a Catholic mission in two cottages in Wilkinson Street with a congregation of about 200, mostly Irish immigrants from Co. Mayo who had fled the Famine. The mission then moved to the top floor of a three-storey building at 21 – 23 High Street, the entrance of which was up an outside staircase of eighteen steps. On the 22nd June 1859 Mgr William Turner, the Bishop of Salford, laid the foundation stone for the present church and the first service was held on 13th November that year.

In the 1860s there was a lot of anti-Irish and anti-Catholic feeling in the town and in June 1868 a mob marched on Pleasant Street which was a mainly Irish area of Haslingden. Things were starting to get ugly when a young man fired a revolver into the air scattering the mob. That young man, a parishioner of St Mary’s was Michael Davitt, who holds an honoured place in Ireland’s fight for independence and in later years became one of the founders of the Irish Democratic League and an Irish Nationalist MP.

Baptisms and marriages were recorded from 1859. There is no burial ground at St Mary’s and prior to the opening of the Municipal Cemetery in 1903 burials took place either at St James Parish Church Haslingden or at St James the Less, Rawtenstall.

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War Memorial