Anniversary gold for St Wulstan’s

Bishop Michael Campbell and Canon Alf Hayes
Bishop Michael Campbell and Canon Alf Hayes

A SPECIAL cake, a visit from the Bishop and the return home of several priests marked a special 50th anniversary at St Wulstan’s Catholic Church, Fleetwood.

St Wulstan’s reached the half century milestone of the opening of its present church building on Poulton Road, which was completed back in 1961.

Olivia Gray, Charlie Foley, Lucinda Denney, Sophie Shields, Erin Smyth and Ronan McDonnell all from Cardinal Allen High School

Olivia Gray, Charlie Foley, Lucinda Denney, Sophie Shields, Erin Smyth and Ronan McDonnell all from Cardinal Allen High School

The anniversary was the cause of great celebration at the church, with parishioners of all ages involved in a real community effort.

There was a special mass heard to mark the occasion, with the Bishop of Lancaster, the Rt Rev Michael Campbell, taking the service with parish priest, Canon Alf Hayes.

Also attending the packed service were several priests who grew up in the parish of St Wulstan’s and later went on to become ordained.

They included Canon John Gibson, Father Anthony Walsh, Father Edward McCann and Father Michael Murphy.

After the service there was a Jacob’s join and buffet in the neighbouring school hall, and a magnificent gold and white cake, baked specially by two of the parish ladies, Ann Benson and Patricia Boe. A number of vintage photographs were also on display, specially for the anniversary.

Church parishioner Keith Earnshaw told the Weekly News: “It was a wonderful occasion for the church.

“I was delighted with the turn-out from parishioners.”

The Poulton Road church officially began its life in March 1961, when it became the “new” church for the already established parish at a cost of £40,000.

There had been a St Wulstan’s Church on the site since 1925 but, with the population in Fleetwood growing, it had become too small by the late 1950s.

Plans were made in the parish to begin fund-raising towards a new church building and the existing church was then used as the St Wulstan’s school hall instead – which continues to this day.

When the new church was opened 50 years ago by Bishop Flynn of Lancaster, it was a major occasion for the town and for the parish.

Half a century later, the church’s milestone was good cause for yet more celebrations.