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The Roman Catholic Church of St Alban, Lark Hill
in the County of
-- Lancashire --

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St Alban's Church congregation was first formed about 1773 by Bisoph Petre and Father William Fisher. The first place of worship was located at King Street and Chapel Street. In 1824 a new church was built at St. Alban's Place located on Larkhill for £800. The new church seated about 700-800 people.

At that time St Albans was a church of the working class people. Sunday Masses were attended by 2,000 to 3,000 people. The present day church was built in 1901 and still serves its parish well.

From the Blackburn Standard Mar 1894, Pg. 7

Let us strike fresh ground in the path of our peregrinations, and furthermore, do so with an impartiality which should rest, like an inseparable mantle on the shoulders of all recorders, however modest. No apology will be needed for such a course, which, so far from incurring excuse, is rendered imperative by a broad view of the religious life of the town. For be it noted. The voice of history echoes at least one notable chord as to Roman Catholicism as it has existed in Blackburn. In the bitter past, through those dark days when the penal laws tightened their grip on the throat of this religion, Blackburn has had its colony of the “faithful.” Blackburn has produced its men who faltered not in the belief, Blackburn, in very fact, has even supplied two priests who, at Tyburn and York, paid the last fatal penalty. Controversy bothers us not, but historic statement such as this may, with every justification, form a fitting prelude to our transition from gentler service to imposing ceremonial; from the quieter provinces of Nonconformity and the Church to the realms of elaborate ritual, impressive, nearly dramatic, almost voluptuous. All circumstances, speaking in a Blackburnian sense, point to the priority of St. Alban’s in this area of our pilgrimage. Has it not upon that site, at Larkhill, known now as St. Alban’s Place, reared its head since 1824? Was it not built for the first Blackburn congregation when they sold the old chapel between King Street and Chapel Street where the worship had been carried on since 1773? Does there not come within the confines of its district a neighborhood extending length-wise past the Cemetery to Wilpshire and right down to Victoria Street, spreading out on either side its hungry embrace as it goes? Have there not sprang from its loins, as it were, the other parishes now in our midst? A wholesale affirmative shows that St. Alban’s pitched in a densely populated and none too rich neighbourhood, is a church of some importance, and the rumour that it is to be pulled down to make way for another edifice enhances the interest which usually surrounds it. Separated from the busy thoroughfare by a spacious burying ground, where all is wonderous still, the somewhat peculiarly-shaped tower stands out as though defending the building which lays behind. Brick is used for the outside walls, which stone quoins at the angles, and Ionic pillars support the porch at the north-west entrance. As far as the body of the church is concerned, the interior strikes one as being rather dull and uninteresting, but the chapel on the west side is an elegant addition. The choir are located in the gallery at the north end, where the organ was placed as far back as the thirties, and there is an estimated seating accommodation of between 700 and 800. It is characteristic that the beauty of the whole place, atmosphere with a mystic peacefulness, would be concentrated in one spot. Really grand and lovely is the spectacle presented by the choice marble altar, decked and fragranced by floral offerings, crowded with candles on elegant supports, and embellished by rich, artistic hangings. From the domed roof above streams down a mellow light upon this memorial of the work of Father Berry, which was built in Rome and sent here at a cost of £800, and from the enclosing walls, handsomely adorned, fair fresco paintings gleam forth. And this is the scene of the public labours of Dean Newton, the Rev. Father Biggs, and the Rev. Father Notterdam, whose relations with their vast flock seem to be vitalized with some of the magnetism which one not unfrequently sees existing between priest and people. Theirs is a wide score, a constant round of duty. Every Sunday morning, the first beginning at 7:30 and the last at 11, there are five masses attended, it is said, by between 2,000 to 3,000 people. A service for little children occupies the afternoon up to four o’clock, when baptisms and churchings take place, and then there tis the evening service at 6:30. If you go any day of the week at 7 and 7:30 you will find services being conducted, and Tuesday and Thursday nights respectively are reserved for the young men and women. Five o’clock mass is fixed for once a month, and, of course, the various holidays are celebrated. That there is a fine choir goes almost without saying, and, what is more, they can put on a very creditable orchestra when occasion demands musical speciality. Twelve hundred and forty on the books, and an average attendance of a thousand, is a record speaking for itself as to the work carried on by the boys’ and girls’ schools built on ground adjacent to the church and rectory, and at St. Patrick’s not far away, whilst the high grade school, which lingers in the shade of the priests’ residence, gives a good account of itself. Numerous guilds are associated with the parish, and, as a final and candid admission, let it be said that observation obviates all doubt as to the organized activity with which the work is pursued and the needs of the district met.

A Drawing of St Alban
A Drawing of St Alban
A Drawing of the Interior of St Alban
A Drawing of the Interior of St Alban

To find more information on the church prior to 1873 visit GenUk for St Alban's Church

Also, visit Cotton Town for more information and paintings of St Alban's.

And of course at the Official Church Page of St Alban the Good Shepherd.

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