St Mary's Church, Wigan

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St Mary's Church
St Mary's Church, Standishgate
Church entrance
Coordinates: 53°33′01″N 2°37′39″W / 53.5503°N 2.6276°W / 53.5503; -2.6276
OS grid reference SD5851306150
Location Wigan, Greater Manchester
Country United Kingdom
Denomination Roman Catholic
Founder(s) Fr Charles Middlehurst
Dedication St Mary
Status Active
Functional status Parish church
Heritage designation Grade II*
Designated 24 October 1951
Architectural type Gothic Revival
Groundbreaking 17 March 1818
Completed 27 January 1819
Parish St Mary and St John
Deanery Wigan
Archdiocese Liverpool

St Mary's Church is a Roman Catholic Parish church in the Standishgate area of Wigan, Greater Manchester. It was built in 1818 and is a Grade II* listed building. It is in the Wigan deanery of the Archdiocese of Liverpool. It is within 200 feet of another Catholic church, St John's Church. They were built in a spirit of competition with each other, but now they are run in conjunction together.[1][2][3]


Church with convent on the right


On 17 March 1818, the foundation stone of the church was laid. Less than a year later, on 27 January 1819, the church was opened. Originally, the church was served by a priest from St Mary's Church, Manchester, also known as The Hidden Gem.[4] It was only with the restoration of the English Catholic hierarchy in 1850 that the church became part of the Archdiocese of Liverpool.


With the Catholic population growing, the church was extended and reopened on 19 October, 1851. Those present at the ceremony were the Bishop of Liverpool, George Brown and the Bishop of Southwark, Thomas Grant. A new Lady Chapel was opened two weeks later.[4]

In 1859, a Fr Gerard O’Reilly became Rector of the church and, during his time, the organ was rebuilt in 1861, and new pews were installed in 1867.[4]

In 1933, when the Society of Jesus handed over the nearby St John's church to the archdiocese, the two churches began to work in conjunction with each other.


The church has two Sundays Masses, one at 9:00am and the other at 4:30pm, so that its times do not conflict with St John's church next door.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ British Listed Buildings retrieved 16 August 2013
  2. ^ Catholic Directory retrieved 16 August 2013
  3. ^ Martin, Christopher A Glimpse of Heaven: Catholic Churches of England and Wales (Swindon, 2007) pp. 49-51.
  4. ^ a b c St Marys Wigan History retrieved 16 August 2013

External links[edit]