The following article appeared in the Catholic Pictorial, December 1964:
 

Winter's tale makes history

Archbishop to lay foundation stone

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Fr R Tobin

Archbishop Beck will visit Wigan on Tuesday evening next week to bless to bless and lay the foundation stone of the new church of St. Jude at Worsley Mesnes.

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This is probably the first time that such a ceremony has taken place on a winter's evening. But no one need be deterred by the weather.
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The building is already well advanced with the roof in place, and powerful arc lamps have been installed for the occasion.

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The story began in 1959 when Father Richard Tobin (pictured above) moved from St. Bartholomew's, Rainhill, to be parish priest of the 88-year-old parish of St. Joseph, Wigan.

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Observing the steady movement of population to the Worsley Mesnes area, he lost no time in obtaining a suitable site in the new housing development. There he erected a temporary dual-purpose building to provide Mass on Sundays and social amenities during the week. (See "Beginnings")

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Cost 90,000

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Then he commissioned Mr L. A. G. Pritchard of Liverpool to draw plans for a permanent church. This resulted in an edifice of uncommon charm and striking design.

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A concrete structure in the shape of a fan, it has 30-foot windows in self-coloured glass. Conforming to the latest requirements of the liturgy, the 600 seats provide an uninterrupted view of the High Altar.

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When building began eighteen months ago, it was plain that the danger of subsidence was very real. Hence, special site preparations were necessary involving an expenditure of 18,000. This brings the total cost of the building to 90,000.
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However, Fr. Tobin views the future calmly and with confidence. Since going to Wigan, with the loyal co-operation of his people, he has already raised 60,000 towards the cost.

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Reception

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Football and bingo have been the main sources of income, but not a little has come from the traditional outdoor collection by the clergy.

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Fr. Tobin will be a happy man on Tuesday next. He has every reason to be proud of his achievement.

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Prior to the seven o'clock ceremony at Worsley Mesnes, the Mayor of Wigan will give a civic reception to the Archbishop in the Town Hall.
 
The article below appeared in the Catholic Pictorial, 18th July 1965:
 

FAN-SHAPED CHURCH OPENED BY ARCHBISHOP Huge glass wall in new style . . . it cost 100,000

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Twelve windows, some of which are 30ft high, are the most unusual feature of the new St. Jude's Church, Worsley Mesnes, Wigan, which cost over 100,000.

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Instead of the traditional method of church window construction, slabs of self-coloured glass have been set into concrete panels to an abstract design, representing Christian symbols.

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The new church replaces a temporary building which was erected three years ago (Note: This information is incorrect. Temporary building was erected in 1959.) to serve the then needs of the people on the new housing estate at Worsley Mesnes, and it stands on Poolstock Lane - St. Paul's Avenue corner.

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The building is designed in the shape of a fan, which gives a congregation of 600 an uninterrupted view of the High Altar.

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Architects for the project were Messrs L. A. G. Pritchard and Son, of Liverpool.

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Baptistry

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Like all buildings in a coal mining area, special site preparation was necessary to guard against the danger of subsidence. Hence the reinforced foundations have added considerably to the cost of the building.

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A unique feature of the church is the baptistry, positioned at the apex and separated from the vestibule. The font is done in marble. The small baptistry windows are done on the same style as the large outside windows.

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The supporting structure is of concrete throughout and the screen walls are of facing bricks.

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Simple materials have been used wherever possible, since the architect's intent is to give the building a natural finish.

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First Stage

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All the 600 congregation will be kept warm by the underfloor heating system. Electric cables are embedded in the floors, providing an even distribution of warmth efficiently and economically.

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The church is the first stage of a development scheme which will eventually be completed by the addition of a new presbytery and a parish social club.

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Parish priest of St. Jude's is Fr. Richard L Tobin, who has been parish priest of St. Joseph's since 1959. St. Jude's is not his first experience of building. When he returned from Army service as a chaplain, he was responsible for the restoration of the church of St. Brigid, Bevington Hill, Liverpool, after extensive war damage.

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Presbytery

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Subsequently a parish priest of St. Cecilia's, Green Lane, he built a much needed presbytery adjoining the church.

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Before being transferred to Wigan, he was parish priest for a time at St. Bartholomew's, Rainhill.

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On Tuesday, two years' work was concluded when Archbishop Beck opened the new church.

St. Jude's Archive