Building » Lees – St Edward

Lees – St Edward

Spring Lane, Lees, Oldham OL45 AJ

A modest late twentieth century church, sited next to the school-chapel built in 1900. The church has no heritage interest, but does contain some reset 1930s stained glass from the former chapel.

St Edward’s began as a school-chapel built as a mission from St Mary’s in Oldham, led by Fr Grymonprez. The foundation stone for a two-storey stone building on St John’s Street was laid on Easter Monday 1872, and the first priest was Fr J. Ryan, sent to the mission in 1875. This chapel closed in 1900, after a new school-chapel was built on Spring Lane, 1898-1900, on land bought by Fr James Hanrahan. The chapel was on the first floor, reached by stone internal stairs and the ground floor was occupied by the school.

The presbytery was built in 1959, replacing an earlier house. After the school closed in 1981, the ground floor was adapted as a parish hall with kitchen. The upper floor of the building was damaged by a fire in 1988, which prompted the parish to build a new church on the site between the old school chapel and the presbytery. The 1989 church was a design and build contract by Ashdene & Windsor Construction of Oldham. In the 1990s, the former first floor chapel was refurbished as a hall with a bar, kitchen, new stairs and a lift (installed 2012).


The church building has a wide rectangular nave with narthex and canted sanctuary.  It is orientated with the sanctuary roughly to the west. The church is faced in a buff brick and the shallow-pitched asymmetric roof is laid with concrete tiles, with boxed metal rainwater gutters. The entrance is expressed by a wide low gable, filled with aluminium-framed doors and a glazed screen. Side elevations to the nave have pilaster buttresses and aluminium-framed windows. The sanctuary is side-lit by windows containing reset stained glass panels of the Evangelists. These were commissioned from Germany in c1930 by Fr Hermann Hohn for the former chapel.

Inside, the nave has a carpeted concrete floor, hardwood pews and an aluminium-framed and glazed screen to the narthex. Walls are plain plastered. The narthex has WCs to the north side and a piety shop to the south.  The plain sanctuary has fittings installed in 1989, supplied by a Preston firm. The attractive Stations of the Cross are ceramic, made in 1989 by a parishioner artist, Peter Stanaway.

Heritage Details

Architect: Ashdene & Windsor Construction

Original Date: 1989

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed