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The History of

St. Margaret Mary's


The parish was founded in 1931/32, and is officially listed as "Parish No. 154" with an estimated population of 6,500, making it one of the larger parishes in the diocese. (Other parishes with larger numbers shown, or dual numberings, are usually the result of parish mergers).

The architects of the church were Weightman and Bullen with a similar design to that of St. Ambrose, Speke. It is interesting to note that Fr. Edward Cain, who has been parish priest at St. Ambrose for many years, spent his first years as a curate here at St. Margaret Mary's.

One of the best-known priests to serve at St. Margaret Mary's was Fr. Godfrey Carney, known not only as a priest but also a poet!

In the mid-1970s, a Re-Ordering of the church was considered, and one element of this was to be a glass screen to link the Narthex and the main church.

The main linking company was Brock Carmichael, who drew up the plans, and ordered the 12mm toughened glass panels from Solaglass, with the actual construction done by Nobles of Bootle. The panels were to show scenes from the Bible, and the design for this was by the Stephen Foster studio in Herts, after which the sand-blasting and acid-etching of this design was executed by Daedalian Glass of Stalmine, near Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire.

The screen was commissioned by former Parish priest Fr. Gerry Proctor as the result of a legacy bequeathed to the church by the late Teresa Gaffney. When Fr. Gerry announced the legacy and the commission he asked for suggestions for the subject of the screen. The two main ideas put forward were the Sacraments and pilgrimage. When you look closely it is quite easy to identify the Sacraments represented. Looking a little more closely on the right hand side, (looking into church), there is a small figure with a staff and a rucksack on the back, and this represents the pilgrim. (Thanks to Betty Donafee for this information).

It is now one of the first sights to meet a visitor to our church, and a much loved feature. Although very attractive, it proves very difficult to photograph, as the sight on the other side always seems to make its may into the image, confusing the eye. We suggest you try to take a photo when the church is in darkness and the porch fully lit. Please see also our Photo section to view the images currently available.

The Narthex Screen was by no means the only difference to the church made during the re-ordering in 1977; there is a list of about a dozen items.

Many of them are to do with the Narthex, including the Narthex Room, the Disabled Toilet, the notice-board panels filling most of the sides, the Font and the Holy Water Bowl that sits in it, and the "re-lining of the shop.

Other less obvious points include various items of lighting, and the whole floor of the Narthex for which three patterns for the tiling were discussed. Apart from the Narthex, there was the new Church Name just outside the Main Door, on the wall the the right. Each letter is a separate item, fixed to the brick wall by its own fitting. Inside the church proper, there was the "bending" of the front few benches, and the placing of the rows of chairs in front of the side altars.