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Our Lady of Lourdes



The Early Days (1928 – 1955)

A Decision is made.

ONE of the projects by which the country attempted to overcome the Depression of the late twenties and early thirties was building. This, of course, encouraged the demand for the products of related consumer industries and naturally for the extension of Spiritual and Social needs.
By 1927, as a result of a four week check on the numbers at all Masses at St. Teresa's Church, it was seen that a new mission was needed. The Archdiocesan Authorities preferred a site which would be nearer to Birkdale than to Ainsdale, whilst the Weld-Blundells were prepared to donate a site (and even a small Church if it was built in the Ainsdale Sandhills).

The next year, 1928, was the 70th anniversary of the Apparition at Lourdes and Fr. Cahill of St. Teresa's was given the task of funding the new parish, in which Archdiocesan Authorities wanted Church and School on adjacent sites. Eventually, one acre of land was purchased for the school site. This was in a lane off Shaftesbury Road (the 'lane' is now Grantham Road) and cost £618 8s. 6d. The site included part of a farm in Shaws Road. Some of the older parishioners of Our Lady of Lourdes may remember the ordeal to be faced, if, when late for school, they tried to take a short cut through the farmyard. The farmer let his boar run free in order to discourage such miscreants.

By 1929 Fr. Cahill held the responsibility for interest on the debts for Our Lady of Lourdes. Fund raising for the new mission continued throughout the whole Catholic community including a Bazaar in Birkdale Town Hall which raised £1,885 18s. 3d.
Meanwhile, the Trustees of the Weld-Blundell estates donated one acre of land in Waterloo Road for the site of a new Church and Presbytery. On the 30th December 1929, the Foundation Mass for the Parish-to-be was said at St. Teresa's — 110 families (500 souls) from St. Teresa's would be included in the new parish. The first Mass in the new mission was said in Brooke's Club over Mr. Bimpson's butcher's shop in Liverpool Road, near Shaw's Road. Father Francis was then Priest in charge and for the time being he was based at St. Joseph's. Archbishop Downey said of him 'he came with a plot and a plan'.


The Church in Grantham Road
The long awaited opening of the 'temporary' church in Grantham Road took place in 1931, the first Mass being celebrated, most appropriately, on Saturday 15th August.




Our Lady of Lourdes Birkdale, Southport 1931
A view of the ‘temporary’ church viewed from the Guildford Road end of Grantham Road.
It is now the school hall.


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Our Lady of Lourdes: Waterloo Road, Hillside, Southport, PR8 3DA

Saint Joseph's: Saxon Road, BIrkdale, Southport, PR8 2AY.

Maps to both on this page

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Our Lady of Lourdes and Saint Joseph's
Saint Joseph's Rectory, 40 York Road, Southport, PR8 2AY.
Telephone: 01704 568313
E-mail: Contact Page