53 Crystal Road, South Shore, Blackpool FY2 0AS.
Handsome and richly furnished church serving Blackpool’s South Shore, by James O’Byrne, a leading Liverpool Catholic architect.
In 1880 Fr Edward Lupton was sent from Liverpool to establish a mission serving the expanding Catholic population of Blackpool’s South Shore. Remarkably, Fr Lupton was to remain parish priest until his death in 1944.
At first a small rectangular brick building doubling as a church and school was established on Lytham Road. A new brick presbytery was built in Crystal Road before the new church was opened on Sunday June 22 1890. A solemn High Mass was held, with an admission price of 2s. 6d. Sermons were delivered by Dr Vaughan, Bishop of Salford and the Rt Rev Mgr Bilsborrow (see Grange over Sands).
Between 1890 and 1897 over £2,700 was spent on embellishing the building. This included Stations of the Cross in 1891 (£140), Rose Window (£200), eleven stained glass windows (£264) and the High Altar reredos (£713).
The church was consecrated in June 1923.
In 1899 a new infants’ schools was built at right angles to the church.
In 1960 two boarding houses next to the church were purchased and adapted to form the present parish centre.
Church orientated north-south but directions follow liturgical orientation. The church consists of nave and aisles, with no tower. It is built of rock-faced yellow sandstone with red sandstone dressings. Slate roofs. Continuous ridge line with no differentiation between nave and chancel. Decorated tracery to large east rose window. Large crucifix with figures of Our Lady and St John (latter vandalised) outside building against east elevation. Large 6-light west window with Decorated tracery. The main entrance is on the south side. Low boundary walls with replacement modern railings.
The interior is a single volume, nave arcades with circular polished marble columns and enriched capitals. The interior is notable for the richness and completeness of its internal embellishment. Cusping and enrichment to roof truss marks break between chancel and nave; also a hanging rood. Elaborate canopied marble altar and reredos of 1895, designed by P.P.Pugin and executed by Boulton, with figures of saints. Similarly enriched altar in Lady (south) chapel. The rose window and Lady Chapel windows seem to have been put in at the same time, and are by Meyer of Munich. North chapel more simply lined in marble (twentieth century). Similarly enriched altar in south chapel. Marble altar rails. Brass pulpit with figures of angels etc, supported on octagonal stone base. Oak font with cover alongside this.
Architect: James O’Byrne
Original Date: 1890
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed