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Holy Catholic Church, Western
Holy Catholic Church, Western
Rite, Our Lady & St Michael
Orthodox Traditional Faith
Bucknal Old Road, Northwood, Hanley
The church has now taken over the former St Michael's, in Bucknall Old Road,
a rededication ceremony on the
19th June 2010
photos: July 2010
Church goers who were forced to leave their old building because it is being knocked down have celebrated moving into their new cathedral.
Families travelled from as far afield as London and north Wales to mark the relocation of the Holy Catholic Church – Western Rite, to Northwood.
The old building in Newport Lane, Middleport, was the subject of a compulsory purchase order as it fell within a regeneration area and was due to be bulldozed.
Francis Hamlett, whose father is the archbishop there, was among the 40-strong worshippers. He described it as an historic moment.
The 42-year-old graphic designer, from Hartshill, said: "It's a fantastic building. The refurbishment has really done the church justice and brought it back to life.
"I'm sure it will help us attract more people to the services."
Mr Hamlett recalled how upsetting it was when they heard in 2005 they would have to leave Middleport.
The site was vacated last autumn and people have been attending church services at St Mary and St John, in Madeley Heath, since then.
The Holy Catholic Church – Western Rite serves a large area as it covers the Archdiocese of Europe.
The 'new' building in Bucknall Old Road actually dates back 104 years. After it stopped being used for Anglican church services, it
was used as a gym for a short period of time.
Archbishop Leslie Hamlett said: "When we first came to look at this building, it was in a terrible state. There were dead rats and pigeons and there was lots of dirt."
He is delighted with the refurbishment and the building is now the centre of the Archdiocese.
On Saturday, retired university lecturer John Milnes, from Manchester, was also ordained as a bishop.
The 66-year-old said: "I think the building is wonderful. It is a place for us to express our faith in the community."
The Holy Catholic Church was founded after a split from the Anglican Church in the early 1980s. Its brethren worship according to the traditional orthodox Catholic faith.
It has churches and missions around the world, including Eastern Europe, the U.S.A and Mexico.
Sentinel Newspaper -
June 21st 2010
the Holy Catholic Church
(Western Rite) in Middleport prior to demolition
previously the Memorial Methodist Chapel which started as a tin mission hut,
but was rebuilt in 1924 as a memorial to Middleport men who lost their lives in the First World War.
photos: Feb 2008
Church doomed by regeneration
A CHAPEL built in honour of men killed in the First World War is to be bulldozed as worshippers move to a new church.
The Holy Catholic Church – Western Rite is due to be demolished as part of the regeneration of Middleport.
The Newport Lane church, which has a congregation of about 30 people, stands next to a number of houses which are also scheduled for demolition as part of regeneration agency Renew North Staffordshire's plans to revamp the area.
Renew is in the process of refurbishing and building a new church hall almost three miles away at the former St Michael's Church, in Bucknall Old Road, Hanley.
The church's Dr Michael Voinus said: "The church was acquired by the city council as part of the clearance project in that area.
"At the moment it is still boarded-up and awaiting demolition.
"A Catholic doesn't necessarily have a parish. People come from all over North Staffordshire and at the moment they are going to Longton."
Dr Voinus added: "The law requires that when you close one active place of worship, you have to replace it with a similar one. Because of that, it was suggested to us that what used to be St Michael's Church might be a suitable replacement.
"They are having to build us a new church hall. Completion date is next year.
"There will be community activities there and it will be available for hire."
A city council spokesman said: "We have handled this matter sensitively and made sure the congregation could be accommodated elsewhere before we started the clearance process."
The church earmarked for demolition is still known locally as the Memorial Methodist Chapel.
It started as a tin mission hut, but was constructed in its present form in 1924 as a memorial to Middleport men who lost their lives in the First World War.
A roll of honour commemorating the area's Second World War dead was later built inside the church.
In 1999 it shut its doors for what was then thought to be the final time because the 14-strong congregation could no longer maintain the building.
Instead, they were left to worship in a church member's house.
But it was bought a year later for £45,000 at auction by the Holy Catholic Church – Western Rite.
Newspaper - November 19th