Our History

Holy Rosary’s actual origins date back to 1940 when a farsighted young curate at St. Patrick’s, Oldham, had secured three acres of land for the sum of £500. Twelve years later in 1952, Fr. James Buckley returned to take charge of the proposed parish.  He was without church, presbytery, school or money, but having obtained permission from Bishop Marshall to dedicate the parish to the patronage of our Blessed Lady, he chose the name, ‘Holy Rosary’.  As the number of houses and catholic families increased, a convenient place to hear Mass was needed.

A non-Catholic friend of Fr. Buckley, Mr. Herbert Wrigley, manager of the nearby Maple Mill, who also gave free use of the Mill Canteen and lift, gladly provided this. The Very Reverend Canon Fitzgerald, parish priest of St. Patrick’s, who had also blessed the building, offered the first Mass on Sunday 7th December 1952.

From these beginnings, some 18 months after the cutting of the first sod, and after much devoted time and effort from parishioners, the church was formally opened on the 23rd July 1955. 
Events continued to move at a rapid pace and Saturday 22nd October 1960 saw the late Bishop Beck officially bless and open the school.

The Parish marked its Silver Jubilee, on July 23rd 1980, with the installation of a new marble altar and furnishings and a Dedication and Solemn Mass celebrated by the Rt. Rev. Thomas Holland, Bishop of Salford.

The parish celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first Mass in the Maple Mill on Dec 6th 2002.

Holy Family

Diocesan plans for a new church in the Hollinwood area went as far back as 1920 when Dean Oakes of Corpus Christi purchased land on Walkers Road and Third Avenue. However, in 1954, Canon Peter Taylor persuaded the Salford Diocesan Finance Board to purchase a new site on Roman Road from Oldham Corporation with plans for a church, presbytery and adjoining primary school.

‘Make Them Proud’

These were the words of Bishop George Andrew Beck as he addressed the people of Holy Family at the laying of the foundation stone on December 7th 1957.

Land purchased and Building commenced in June 1957. By 10th October Bishop Beck had appointed Fr. William Scanlan of English Martyrs Urmston, to be the 'Priest-in-Charge'. He immediately took up residence at Corpus Christi until a house was purchased for him at Grange Avenue. This was to be his new home until the presbytery was built in 1961.

Limehurst Primary School Hall used for Sunday Masses; 9.00 a.m./l1.00 a.m.

Sunday School held at the Catholic Chapel of Hollinwood Cemetery

Holy Family was opened and blessed by Bishop Beck on June 14th 1958, the anniversary of Father Scanlan's ordination.

1960 was the year of Fr. Scanlan's Silver Jubilee.

ex2Holy Family School (Infant and Juniors) opened in 1962

Silver Jubilee of the Parish was the 14th June 1983

Dedication of the Church and Altar by Bishop Geoffrey Burke on 7th March 1988

Golden Jubilee celebrated in June 2008

In August a Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated by Bishop Terence J. Brain to officially end the Golden Jubilee year.


Fr. Billy Molloy, having been Parish priest at Holy Rosary since December 2006, was directed to also take over Holy Family in August 2008, and the process of amalgamation of both parishes began.

Amalgamation was completed in December 2009 and the new parish is now known as The Parish of Holy Family and Holy Rosary Oldham