The parish was established in 1902 when mass was celebrated for the local people in a nearby café. The original church with school buildings attached, was opened in 1904 but the thriving parish outgrew this and plans were made for a larger church.
The current church was designed by Mr. C Mangan of Preston and being completed in 1934 was solemnly opened by Bishop Moriarty on 4th November that year. Magner's church history relates: "Many hundreds of people availed themselves of the opportunity to view the spacious, airy and dignified building, which was free from pillars inside, and had a wonderful roof sprung on steel girders".
Being free from debt in 1943 it was consecrated on 4th August of that year while the world war was still raging.
The church has undergone embellishment and several re-orderings in its history and the parish celebrated its centenary in 2002 with a variety of memorable events including a flower festival.
Fr Frank's 60th anniversaryOn Monday 8th December, Fr Frank Rice celebrated 60 years of ordained priesthood. His ordination took place in Rome on the 100th anniversary of the definition of the Immaculate Conception.
He was invited back to St John's by our current P.P. Fr Forshaw, to celebrate his diamond jubilee in the parish where he had enjoyed the last 16 years of his active ministry-until December 2013 when he retired aged 85!
Fr.Frank was joined by Bishops Mark and Brian (as well as dozens of his brother priests from across the diocese) for a concelebrated Mass in his honour. The beautiful Mass was followed by an amazing buffet in the parish centre. The centrepiece of this was a cake embellished with the coats of arms of all Fr Frank's places of education from Primary School to the Venerable English College.
All in all it was a truly memorable occasion for both him and all the many people who attended the events.
Pictures of this wonderful event are available here: FR FRANK'S 60th