A Short History of Saint Mary’s Woolton

A Catholic Community has been present for nearly 300 years. It has been a vary varied and interesting History. Notable dates include:

Year            Event
1715 Benedictine Chaplains to the Molyneux family at Woolton Hall.

The ‘Woolton Mission’ was founded at St. Benet’s Priory in Watergate Lane.

Our Parish school – Much Woolton Catholic Primary now stands on this site.

1859   The Foundation Stone of the present Church was laid and dedicated to the patronage of Saint Benet.
1860    The Church was opened on 28th October
1861   The Church was renamed Saint Mary’s
1869   The School building (now the Parish Centre) and the Presbytery were built.
1873    The Cloisters were built, to join the Church and Presbytery.

The Benedictines departed St Mary’s

The Mill Hill Fathers became rectors.

1931   V. Rev. Dr. Charles Gelderd becomes the first secular Parish Priest of Saint Mary’s.
1947   V. Rev Canon Edward Murphy is appointed Parish Priest and remains for the next 33 years.
1950   Bishop Halsall celebrated the Mass of consecration in the Church on September 8th.
1980   V. Rev. Mgr. John P. Mahony is appointed as Parish Priest
1981/2   During the early 1980’s The Church interior was extensively redecorated and the font was moved to its current position at the front of the church.
1982   Saint Benet’s Priory in Watergate Lane is demolished.
1984   Saint Benet’s Cemetery is closed to make way for the housing development ‘Priory Way’. Remains, tombstones, monuments and other memorials were transferred to the graveyard at Saint Mary’s.
1987   An ecumenical covenant is signed with the other churches in Woolton: St James’, St Peter’s and the United Reformed Church pledging a cooperative witness of Christ’s people.
1989   V. Rev. Mgr. Peter W. Ryan appointed as Parish Priest.
1999   Rev. Fr. Patrick O’Brien appointed as Parish Priest.

Following Fr. Pat’s retirement Rev. Fr. Timothy J Buckley C.Ss.R. appointed Parish Priest.

The Redemptorist Community at Bishop Eton take Pastoral Responsibility for the Parish


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