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Our Story

The Catholic Parish of Holy Cross, Our Lady & Saint Paul in the Diocese of Shrewsbury is a community of faith rooted in the love of God revealed to us in Jesus Christ. We believe worship is not just found in prayer, it’s something expressed in everything we do. Come and join us to experience God’s grace for yourself.

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History of the parish of Holy Cross, Our Lady & Saint Paul

Since 2006 the churches of Holy Cross, Our Lady & Saint Paul have become one parish. Sadly a few years ago Holy Cross church was closed due to structural problems.Our logo has the boat representing Saint Paul with its mast as the Holy Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ & the lily for Our Lady representing her purity in the Immaculate Conception.

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Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate conception

In December 1854 the second mission in Birkenhead was opened. New works & especially the construction of the docks had brought a large number of Catholics to this part of town & in 1856 the foundation stone of the schools was laid by Canon Browne. They became known as Our Lady & Saint Edward's, & were used as a temporary church. On 8th December 1860, Bishop Brown laid the foundation stone of the new church designed by the architect Edward Welby Pugin. Two years later on 25th May, Bishop Brown returned to open the new church & sang Pontifical High Mass. It was the first church in the Diocese to be erected in honour of the Immaculate Conception. The church was seriously damaged in the blitz. On 12 March 1941, the presbytery was destroyed and the Parish Priest, Canon Tallon and his housekeeper lost their lives. For ten years the church was left open to the skies, a temporary home having been found at a building in Price Street. The celebrations at its re-opening on 11 October 1951 were said to have been unprecedented in the diocese. All traffic was halted and dense crowds knelt in adoration for the progress of the Bishop bearing the Blessed Sacrament to the chant of the Benedictus sung by a choir of 200 priests and nuns. In the evening a torchlight procession of 30,000 men, women, and children was witnessed by a crowd of over 135,000 throughout the streets of the town.

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Church of the Holy Cross

In 1928 the parish of Holy Cross was erected. This parish was brought into existence by the transference of large numbers people from the central & dock areas of Birkenhead to the North end of the town.
Mass was first said in the Catholic chapel at Flaybrick Hill cemetery on Sundays, with permission of Birkenhead Town council. On weekdays Mass was said in the priest's house on Hoylake road.
In 1929, the Rev. G. Cavanagh came as Parish Priest & having acquired a site boldly made use of voluntary labour in the erection of a semi permanent church. This building was opened in 1930.
The foundation stone for the current church, designed by the architect F. X. Velarde was laid in October 1957, the church was opened in June 1959.

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Church of Saint Paul

The parish was created in 1978 to serve a large overspill housing area on the eastern edge of Birkenhead, now known as Beechwood. Undated plans in the diocesan archive show a scheme for a combined school, community hall, church and presbytery contained within a square single-storey building, designed by Weightman & Bullen. The scheme for the church as  built is different, but can be attributed stylistically to the same architects. The school was built first, the church and presbytery were completed in late 1980, and a community room was added in 1982 in the space left between the church, presbytery and school hall. The church was opened on 25th January 1981, the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul.

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