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On the 7th July 2018, the Church of All Saints, Barton celebrated the One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of its Consecration. This took place on 9th June 1868 and was followed by the official opening of the Church on 18th June 1868. A Thanksgiving Mass was celebrated by the Right Rev. John Arnold, Bishop of Salford, and he was joined by several Franciscan friars, including Fr. Ciprian Budau, the Custos of Great Britian and Ireland and a neighbouring Parish Priest and about 120 people from the area.
The Order of Friars Minor Conventual took over the Church and Presbytery in 1964 and eventually in 1966 it became the Centre for the Crusade of Mary Immaculate and a building was erected on the site to house the printing press for the publication of the Crusade magazine and as the office for the Franciscan Mass Association.
The Conventual Franciscans used the building for various apostolates and it was established as the novitiate for the Order in Great Britain and Ireland during the 1990’s. It was during this time that extensive restoration work was undertaken on the Church of All Saints, including work on the frescos in the sanctuary and other structural improvements. Further restoration work was carried out around 2010 which included the major addition of a new roof and other repairs. The Church has a Grade 1 listing with English Heritage and some say it is one of Pugin’s finest works.
The 150th Anniversary All Saints Church
The Church of All Saints and the adjoining Friary continues as the Centre for the Crusade of Mary Immaculate and Mass is celebrated on the First Saturday of each month with devotions to St. Maximilian Kolbe OFM Conv., the founder of the Crusade of Mary Immaculate and the church contains a statue of St. Maximilian wearing his Auschwitz concentration shirt and also a first class relic of this saint which is venerated by the people.
The Order of Friars Minor Conventual continues to discern how this Church might be better utilized and further restoration work is needed to allow the Church to be more available.
We are grateful to the many friars who have lived at All Saints Friary and ministered to the people who have supported the work of the Crusade of Mary Immaculate and the promotion of the Franciscan Mass Association for over 50 years and donated generously to the restoration work undertaken during that time.
Fr. Christopher Shorrock, OFM Conv. (current Guardian)