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The Roman Catholic Church of St Peter and St Paul, Ribchester
in the County of
-- Lancashire --

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St Peter and St Paul, Ribchester
St Peter and St Paul, Ribchester

The church was founded before 1783, the current Grade 2 listed building dates from 1789 though there has been a chantry priest here to celebrate Mass since before the Reformation. In the days of persecution there were several centres nearby where Mass was said in secret -Hothersall Hall, Bailey Hall, Showley Hall, Dinckley Hall, Carr Hall, Osbaldeston Hall, and several others a little farther away.

From 1761 a Father William Fisher was at Showley as chaplain and it was through his efforts that the present chapel was built near Stidd in 1789.

Rt. Rev. Francis Petre, Bishop of Amoria, Vicar Apostolic of the Northern District 1750 to 1775 resided with the Walmsley family at Showley Hall, a remote house off the Blackburn to Ribchester road. When he died he was buried before the altar at Stidd. The parish register states: 1775, Dec. 27, Francis Peter, Esqur., Sholey, a Romish Bis'p.

The Stidd site may have been chosen to be near the shrine of the Catholic Bishop but also to keep in hiding to some extent. A recess in one of the rooms at the priest's house seems to indicate that there was an altar there, and perhaps for safety the Blessed Sacrament was kept there. Father Fisher resigned in 1805 but died at Ribchester in 1813.

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