St Paul's Church

The history of St Paul’s goes back to the 1830s, when the parish of St James, Church, established three small schools in Oswaldtwistle to provide religious education for the young.

 

One was at Daisy Green, on the Haslingden Grane Road which was later transferred to Belthorn, another at Knuzden, while the third, at Busk, the National Infant School, was the origin of St Paul’s school.

 

Though pupil numbers grew the children and their parents worshipped at either Church Kirk or Immanuel churches, until a Sunday School and Mission services were set up in the school in 1862.

Two years later, the Rev J McGuinness was appointed as curate-in-charge and the new district of St Paul’s came into being.

 

Accommodation became a problem as the congregation increased and a temporary, second hand, iron church was erected at the bottom of Queen Street. It was dedicated in 1870.

In 1875 Robert Watson, who owned Rhyddings Mill, donated a half acre site within the grounds of his home The Rhyddings for a new permanent church and the foundation stone was laid by his wife in 1882.

 

Designed to seat 800, mason T Clegg of Oswaldtwistle used stone from the nearby Stanhill Quarry and the church was finally consecrated in 1884 and the parish of St Paul’s was established.

The Rev Thomas Catterns, who had arrived in 1880 as curate-in-charge of the district became the first vicar.

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