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

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The Mission of St Albanís, Ancoats, began in 1863 with the building of a school on John Street which had rooms for a chapel on the upstairs floor. The chapel was opened on 15th November 1863 and became registered for the solemnisation of marriages on 17th November 1864.

The chapel rooms above the school soon became too small and the Mission purchased land in Fawcett St, next to the school on John St, to build a new church. The foundation stone for the new building was laid in July 1877, and the church opened fully in the following year, 1878.

St Albanís served a large population of working class people that included many Irish and Italian immigrants. In 1940 St Albanís priest Fr Gaetano Fracassi was one of many Mancunian Italians who were interned when Italy entered WW2. He was drowned when the transport ship Arandora Star was torpedoed by a German U-boat whilst transporting internees to Canada.

After the war, slum clearance and a general decline in the population of Ancoats caused congregations to dwindle, and St Albanís amalgamated with St Michaelís Ancoats in 1960. The church on Fawcett St finally closed in 1968 and was subsequently demolished.

Sources:

The Tablet archive
London Gazette archive
The Guardian/Observer newspaper archive

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