St Michael and St John Church, Clitheroe

St Michael and St John Church
St Michael and St John the Evangelist Church, Clitheroe

Front entrance
St Michael and St John Church
Location in Ribble Valley
Coordinates: 53°52′17″N 2°23′26″W / 53.8713°N 2.3906°W / 53.8713; -2.3906
OS grid reference SD7441341746
Location Clitheroe
Country United Kingdom
Denomination Roman Catholic
Founded 1799 (1799)
Founder(s) Fr John Laurenson SJ
Dedication St Michael, John the Evangelist
Events Church rebuilt 1850
Status Active
Functional status Parish church
Parish Our Lady of the Valley
Deanery St John Southworth[1]
Diocese Salford
Province Liverpool

St Michael and St John the Evangelist Church is a Roman Catholic parish church in Clitheroe, Lancashire, England. It is situated on Lowergate road close to the centre of the town. It was founded in 1799 by the Society of Jesus. When the original building became St Michael and St John's Catholic Primary School in 1850, the church moved next to the school.[2]



Fr John Laurenson SJ first came to Clitheroe in 1794. There he started a mission to the local Catholics in the area. He resided in the nearby Stonyhurst College which was run by the Jesuits, and it was from there they did most of their work in the area. In 1798, he was presented with some land on Lowergate so that he could build a church and a school.[3] In 1799, a small chapel was built on the site.[2]


By the nineteenth century, the Catholic population was increasing so the chapel had to be extended and a school was built attached to the chapel. In 1850, a larger church was built next door for the increasing congregation and the chapel was given entirely over to the school. Twenty years later, both the school and the church was again extended. In 1897, a new school was built on the same site, but next to the original one, so that the old chapel and school building were converted into a social centre for the parish.[3] The original 1799 church building, now part of St Michael's Primary School, is a Grade II listed building.[2]


St Mary's Church, Sabden

In September 2008, the Jesuits handed the church over to the Diocese of Salford who continue to serve the parish.[4] Two years later, the parish merged with St Mary Queen of Peace Church in Sabden to form the parish of Our Lady of the Valley. St Mary's was built in 1877 and it was made into a parish in 1909, so that the parishioners did not have to travel the sizeable distance to attend Mass in Clitheroe.[3]

The parish has two Sunday Masses at St Michael and St John Church, one on Saturday evening at 6:00pm and the other at 9:30am on Sunday morning. There is one Sunday Mass at St Mary's Church at 11:00am.[1]

The parish has close relationships with St. Mary’s R.C. Primary School in Sabden and St. Michael and St. John's R.C. Primary School in Clitheroe, both schools state that 'a good catholic education is a partnership between home, school and parish'.[5][6]


See also


  1. 1 2 Blackburn-Clitheroe areas from Diocese of Salford retrieved 5 February 2014
  2. 1 2 3 British listed buildings retrieved 16 December 2013
  3. 1 2 3 Clitheroe History retrieved 20 October 2013
  4. Jesuits pull out of historic Lancashire parish from Catholic Herald retrieved 5 February 2014
  5. "Mission Statement" from St Mary's School, Sabden retrieved 5 February 2013
  6. St Michael and St John's School, Clitheroe retrieved 5 February 2014
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