Mark’s History: Inside Holy Family Church, completed in 1895

Holy Family Church Armley-002
Holy Family Church. Photo: Mark Stevenson

Words & photos: Mark Stevenson

Fr Collins was appointed the first resident priest of this part of New Wortley in the 1860’s and at the time there was no church for him to use so he said mass in his house at 43 Holdforth Street (roughly where 33 Bruce Lawn is now).

Around about the time Fr Denis Collins was setting up his mission in Wortley, Atkinson Grimshaw lived in the area at Wallace Street the next street up from Holdforth Street, (there was a landowner in the area called Holdforth – are the streets named after him?) I wonder if Grimshaw attended one of Fr Collins’ masses?

In 1871 the first Holy Family School was opened. This was at the back of the present church; it had its own chapel but it only held around 100 seats and as the Catholic population of the area grew a bigger church was needed.

Check out the slideshow of photos below:

The Holy Family Church you see today was completed in 1895 at a cost of £3,100 and seated around 450.

My thanks to the Rev Neil Byrne for letting me take photos of Christ the King (which you can see here) and the Holy Family Churches.

Read more on the rich history of West Leeds with the Mark’s History column here.


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