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Tony Flynn
Tuesday the second of November - which was also the the feast day of All Souls when the faithful departed are remembered in prayers - was also the date chosen for the last mass to be celebrated at All Souls RC Church, Weaste, Salford.


The church was fully packed with parishioners of all ages who had come to the last mass to be conducted in the church. 

All Souls church started life, not where it is now, but on Bute Street (now Kintyre Avenue), Weaste. 

In its last years, the original church became an extension of the school, housing the last year's pupils, before they migrated to secondary school. The church was unused for a few years then became a factory, making men's shirts, after which, in the early 1970s it was demolished. 

The Bishop of Salford, Bishop Terence Brain, gave the service along with eight other priests including Father Shaun Braiden the current parish priest. 

He gave a moving speech to the congregation and explained that the decision to close the church had not come easy and that since 2003 the church had been under threat of closure. 

Add to this a dwindling congregation, structural damage which the diocese could not afford to repair and the difficulty that Father Shaun had in dividing his time and energies between two parishes, the other being St James on Salford precinct. 

On a brighter note the Bishop asked the congregation not to be too upset, he agreed that there was a great sadness when a church had to close, however you still have memories of that church and that you have to move on and no matter whatever church you attend God is always with you. 

Then helped by a priest, the Bishop gave communion and blessings to over two hundred parishioners. 

Hymns were sung throughout the service by the congregation which added to the emotional atmosphere in this beautiful church. 

After the service had ended, parishioners, many of whom were in tears, were seen lighting candles for loved ones at the statues of saints in the church. 

The church was founded in 1892. The parish is now combined with Mother of God and St James, Pendleton, and renamed St James with All Souls. Lady Annette de Trafford laid the foundation stone of a new school here in 1889. This was during the Rectorship of Dean Saffenreuter, at St. James's, Pendleton. A separate parish was formed in 1896, and Canon McDermott Roe was the first Rector, but was soon followed by Fr. Salvatore Carruccio, who stayed until his death in 1903, and is buried in Weaste Cemetery. 

Fr. Henry Mom came here from Colne and worked in this district for ten years until ill-health caused him to retire. He died in 1927. A new church was opened in 1934, by Bishop Henshaw. The consecration took place in 1946, by Bishop Marshall. 

This article was first published on SalfordOnline on the 5th November 2010, it is lovingly republished here courtesy of Man of the loin cloth, Mr Tony Flynn, Edited by Mike Heap.

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