Christmas funding boost for the Holy Name church

Saturday 2nd January 2021

A £15,000 National Churches Trust (NCT) Cornerstone Grant will help fund repairs to the roof of the church of the Holy Name of Jesus. The Holy Name church is currently on the Historic England ‘At Risk Register’ that identifies those historic buildings that are most at risk and most in need of safeguarding for the future. This important work to the roof will serve to make this Grade I listed church watertight and preserve its historic fabric. The church has also received a £10,000 Wolfson Fabric Repair Grant on the recommendation of the National Churches Trust.

This is in addition to a substantial grant offer in October of £102,765 from the Catholic Trust for England and Wales – part of £3million awarded by Historic England to support major works of repair across England stalled or delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Catholic Trust grant will support repairs to the Sacred Heart chapel and the Holy Souls chapel in the south transept and these latest grants from the National Churches Trust will enable the Holy Name church to complete this project and undertake further much needed roof repairs at the east end of the church.

Built between 1869 and 1871, to the designs of the well-known Victorian Catholic architect Joseph Hansom, the Holy Name church is owned and served by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and is the church of the Catholic chaplaincy of Manchester’s universities.

Fr Brendan Callaghan SJ, priest in charge of the Holy Name church, said: “We are delighted to receive these generous grants from the National Churches Trust, the Wolfson Foundation and from Historic England’s Grants for Capital Works programme which is part of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund. The leaking roofs in the east end of the church have been a worrying problem for many months and it will be such a relief to be able to make repairs to secure this area in our 150th anniversary year.”

The National Churches Trust grant will go towards the total replacement of the south side chapel roofs of the sanctuary, as well as masonry, window and rainwater repairs. A total of 54 churches and chapels in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will benefit from the latest round of funding of £463,000 from the National Churches Trust, the charity supporting church buildings of all Christian denominations across the UK.

The church

The Holy Name is a testament to the technical ingenuity and energy of this Victorian city. The bishop asked the Jesuits, already well established in Liverpool, to build as big a church in as short a time as possible. Architects Joseph Hansom and son rose to the challenge. Modelled on 14th century French gothic cathedrals (which took many decades to complete), they built the church in two years (1869-71) using prefabricated locally sourced terracotta tiles and polygonal hollow pots, much lighter than stone, to form the vault. This makes the church unusually spacious. The quality of the French influenced architecture, unusual construction technique and locally sourced materials has combined to create one of the most significant 19th Century Church buildings in the North West.

Adam Brocklehurst, a recent student and church volunteer, said: “This news is a ray of light at the end of a very tough year. As a local, the Holy Name has been a beacon in my life, so I am really happy to see this commitment from the National Churches Trust to preserve our Manchester heritage. It will be wonderful to reclaim the south chapels from the buckets and mops!”


Pictured: Fr Brendan Callghan SJ and Fr peter Scally SJ

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