Building » Boothstown – Holy Family

Boothstown – Holy Family

Chaddock Lane, Worsley, Boothstown, Manchester M28

An interwar brick and terracotta church with perpendicular Gothic detailing. The exterior is plain apart from the gable end facing the road. Attractive interior with some good original fittings. Although relatively plain, the church does have some architectural and historic merit.

A  mission was opened at Tyldesley in1865, covering Boothstown and Atherton, under the mother church of St Joseph Leigh, and the first chapel was built as a mission from Sacred Heart, Hindsford, in 1897. This school and chapel building was erected on land to the rear of the present presbytery; Bishop Dobson opened the building on 2 May 1897. Fr Richard O’Neill was the first priest-in-charge, the building had capacity for 240 people. The presbytery is a former private house built in the mid-nineteenth-century and acquired in the 1860s; this was incorporated into the present church in the 1920s. Canon Whiteside of Hindsford commissioned a new church in the late 1920s; the first Mass was celebrated at Christmas 1929 and the church opened by Archbishop Downey on 9 March 1930. The architect was Harold Greenhalgh of Bolton.

Following refurbishment by Derek Hicks and Thew Partnership in 2001, the church was consecrated by Archbishop Kelly. The former chapel/school building became the parish centre after a new larger school was built in the post-war period, but was demolished in 2003.


The church is faced in a drag-wire brindle brick, laid in stretcher bond, and roofed in Welsh slates with eaves gutters. The liturgical west front faces south and is the most important elevation. This and the front boundary walls have details in buff-coloured terracotta. The flanking west porches and projecting baptistery to the west front have flat asphalt roofs. The principal entrance is into the porch on the south side of the west end, connected to the presbytery with a flat-roofed link. The windows have simple Gothic terracotta cusped heads, the obscured glass is decorated with simple stained glass motifs, protected against vandalism with polycarbonate sheets.

The interior is a single volume under a plastered shallow pointed-vaulted ceiling. The west gallery of pine has a three-bay open arcade, defining the baptistery, now used as a narthex.  The floor is parquet with carpeting.  The sanctuary was reordered in 2000 with a new forward altar platform and liturgical  furniture. The former sanctuary is now used a chapel for private prayer. This is flanked by the chapels of the Sacred Heart and the Holy Family, with original oak altars. The terracotta font has been reset towards the east end. The pine bench pews have been retained and reset as part of the reordering. On the south side of the church, the confessional is now in use as a store.

Entry amended by AHP 8.1.2021

Heritage Details

Architect: H. Greenhalgh

Original Date: 1929

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed