St Albans Roman Catholic Church

St Albans Roman Catholic Church

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St. Alban's parish, established in 1773 under the guidance of Bishop Petre and Father William Fisher, has firmly established itself in the East Lancashire region.

In 1773, the parish's inception saw only two recorded baptisms, but by 1780, Bishop Matthew Gibson had confirmed 31 parishioners in Blackburn, with 110 communicants participating. Historical records suggest that by 1805, the Catholic population in Blackburn had grown to an estimated 745 individuals.

As Blackburn's overall population continued to surge, with a nearly doubled count from 11,980 in 1801 to 21,940 in 1821, the Catholic community experienced a similar expansion, likely influenced by Irish immigration. Consequently, the modest St. Alban's chapel on Chapel Street was outgrown, necessitating the construction of a larger church on a new site, Larkhill.

The construction of this new church commenced in 1824, and unlike the earlier chapels, it stood prominently without being concealed by other structures. Blackburn's Catholic community displayed a newfound sense of confidence, as demonstrated on the Feast of St. Alban on June 21, 1826, when the opening of the new church was announced in the "Blackburn Mail."

This church served the St. Alban's congregation for the remainder of the 19th century until a new church building was erected in 1901, which remains in use to this day.