Immaculate Heart of Mary

Catholic Church in Huddersfield

Parish History

Dedication of the English Martyr's Church - Huddersfield

by
Rt. Rev. William Gordon Wheeler, M.A. - Bishop of Leeds

Thursday, 23rd April, 1970 - 7.30pm

Message from the Bishop

Challoner, in his 'Memoirs of Missionary Priests', writes: 'On the 1st of December of this same year, 1586, Richard Langley Esq., born at Grimethorpe, in Yorkshire, was executed at York for harbouring and assisting priests.'

Blessed Richard Langley's family home was at Dalton. He was a man of considerable substance and inherited rich estates from his father in 1537. He was a strong defender of the ancient Faith and his home provided a centre for the hounded priests of those times and made it possible for the loyal catholics of these parts to hear Mass and receive the Sacraments. Ultimately, he was arrested and received the crown of martyrdom.

In view of this great tradition in your midst, it is most fitting that the new Church at Dalton should be dedicated to the English Martyrs. It is significant also that, in the providence of God, this should happen at a time when these same Martyrs are attaining the highest recognition of the Universal Church. Such fidelity as they displayed and at so great a cost moves us today to be ready to follow their example and to have the power of their intercession.

We must express our gratitude to Father Edward Heeran, Parish Priest of St. Joseph's, Huddersfield, and all those who have co-operated with him and helped him in the building of this fine new Church. I was happy to give permission for the purchase of the site on 23rd July 1967. Mr John Black, A.R.I.B.A., of Huddersfield, was called in as architect, and Messrs T. Dyson & Son Ltd, also of Huddersfield, as the building contractors. The work began on the site in January 1969, and now, on St. George's Day, 23rd April 1970, I shall have the joy of opening and dedicating this new Church. I congratulate all who have had a part in it, and I pray that it may become a great beacon-light of the Faith in this area.

It is Father Heeran's wish that a new Parish should be created here and that he himself should be its first Parish Priest. I am delighted to accede to his wishes and congratulate the English Martyrs, Dalton, on a beginning of such signal dedication. God bless and prosper this Parish and may Our Lady and the English Martyrs inspire and strenghen you in your faith.

† Wm. Gordon Wheeler