St Wulstan’s marks 50 glorious years

St Wulstan's current Priest, Canon Alf Hayes pictured conducting a christening
St Wulstan's current Priest, Canon Alf Hayes pictured conducting a christening

ST WULSTAN’S RC Church in Fleetwood will this Friday celebrate the 50th anniversary of its current church building being opened.

There will be a full, solemn mass at 7pm led by the Bishop of Lancaster, the Rt Rev Michael Campbell, and current parish priest Canon Alf Hayes.

The Poulton Road church officially began its life on March 4 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 – an arrangement 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.

Parishioner Keith Earnshaw told the Weekly News: “This is a very proud milestone for the parish. We are expecting several former priests to join us.”

After the service there will be a buffet served in the school hall, where there will also be a display of vintage photos from the life of the church.

Included will be photos of some of the young Fleetwood men who went on to be ordained as priests; parishioners such as John Gibson, Peter Sayer, Edward Mitchell, Vincent Smith, Edward McCann and Bernard Hearty.