We offer you a warm welcome to our Catholic church and we hope you will find this website useful. In the newsletter you will find information about the life, worship, and activities in our Parish. If you are new to Christ Church, we invite you to complete a registration form. God bless.
Sacrament of Reconciliation
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
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The appointment of Father Frank McGowan in 1959 marked the beginning of Christ Church Parish. Since 1947 a monthly Mass had been celebrated in an upper room at the Heald Green Hotel by Fr Houghton from St Chad’s, but by 1952 the Catholic population had outgrown this location.
In 1957 Fr McGowan announced that he had purchased land on Finney Lane for the future building of a church. Parishioners immediately formed a committee to prepare for the arrival of a parish priest. Six of these pioneers were awarded the Bene Merenti for their committed service to Christ Church. Fr McGowan celebrated the first Mass of the new Parish on 30th August 1959.
The Church Hall was built and a first Mass was celebrated there on Easter Sunday 1960. The foundation stone of the Church was laid in July 1961 and the inaugural Mass celebrated on 8th December 1962. The Church was formally opened and blessed by Bishop Grasser in January 1963.
Fr McGowan's theme for the church was 'My house is a house of Prayer.’ He sought to create a community of peace and love. His vision was of a strong simple interior relying on wood and stone, and he commissioned artists and craftsmen to work with modern materials - stainless steel and fibreglass. Eddie Blackwell designed the tabernacle, monstrance and altars. Michael Gibbons carved the pews and altar furniture and J E Nuttgens designed the stained-glass Stations of the Cross.
Over the years three assistant priests, Fr Michael Lester, Fr Michael Hartley and Fr John Hovington served with Fr McGowan. Fr Harry Stratton also helped with the Sunday Masses. Fr McGowan retired on the occasion of his Golden jubilee in 1994, but he lived in Heald Green and celebrated Mass at St. Ann's Hospice each week until his death in 2000.
In 1994 Fr Peter Burke succeeded Canon McGowan as Parish Priest. He introduced the Parish Council, the RCIA course, the Children's Liturgy and increased the number of Eucharistic Ministers and readers. Fr Peter led memorable pilgrimages to Rome, Assisi and the Holy Land. He encouraged John Brady to study for the Permanent Diaconate. John was ordained in 1999 and served the parish until his death in 2008.
Fr Ambrose Nicholson (1999 - 2007) was our third Parish Priest. He reordered and redecorated the church enhancing its original materials. Under his care parishioners enjoyed pilgrimages to Knock, Iona, Lindisfarne and Canterbury. During this time Father Michael Dyson retired and came to live in Heald Green, where he played a valued part in parish life until his death in late 2020.
In 2000 our Millennium project raised money to help build the Church of the Holy Rosary in Uchira in Tanzania East Africa. Christ Church was represented at the opening ceremony in 2008 and the lovely tapestry in our Church celebrates the ongoing support and friendship between the two parishes.
Fr Paul Lomas was the Parish Priest from 2007 to 2019. He completed the reordering, and commissioned new furniture for the sanctuary carved from wood which matches the original. The Parish Hall, which is the meeting place for parish activities, was modernized and refurbished.
Father Tony McGrath has been the parish priest since October 2019. He trained for the priesthood at the Venerable English College in Rome and has served at Our Lady and St. Christopher's in Romiley, and Shrewsbury Cathedral.
Throughout the years, our parish life has flourished with many groups providing for all. It has been served well by many parishioners who have given generously to enhance the liturgy and worship. The parish serves St. Ann's Hospice, Cheadle Royal Hospital and works successfully with Churches Together in Heald Green. For parishioners the Church remains, as Bishop Grasser described it, ‘a spiritual home where we meet together and come to pray.