St Charles’ Feast Day this year falls on Sunday, 4 November
St Charles Borromeo’s Church has been standing on its current site for 150 years. The parish began in 1864 at Salmon Pastures, Attercliffe, where a mission chapel of St Marie’s was founded. At the same time plans for the present church were developing. Many people donated money towards the building of the church, including the Duke of Norfolk and Mr and Mrs Wake. Building began on the current church in 1867.
A front-page article in Sheffield’s Daily Telegraph for 11 August, 1868 tells that St Charles was officially opened by the Very Reverend Dean Cooke in the presence of the Bishop of Beverley. High Mass was celebrated with music from Haydn and the Music of the Silver Trumpets as used in Papal High Masses.
The congregation at the time was made up of affluent people, many from businesses in the Attercliffe area. Then, like now, there were collections towards the building and its upkeep. But, unlike today, the congregation were charged to enter the opening ceremony. In old money it cost 5/-, 2/6d and 1/- (which equates to 25p, 12.5p and 5p) for the morning service and reduced rates for the evening.
The celebration continued with luncheon at the Victoria Hotel, the cost of which was 3/6d (17.5p) plus the price of your wine.
The 150th Anniversary was also celebrated with Mass. The celebrant was Fr Leo Chukwugekwu, a visiting Nigerian priest on his time out from Rome. It was a well-attended Mass (see photograph below) with a couple of history lessons thrown in. After Mass the celebrations continued with a party in the Pastoral Centre next door.
The celebrations don’t stop here though. Plans are in place to hold specific celebrations for more recent members of the parish, including the Polish community and the newly developed Slovak community. The plan is to mark the 150th Anniversary with a year full of celebration.
The parish always celebrates St Charles Feast Day every year. In this special anniversary year, we would like to invite all past and present parishioners to a special Mass on this day.
The Mass will be at 3 pm on Sunday, 4 November in St Charles Church. After Mass there will be refreshments and the chance to reminisce.
A history board is in place and there is room for more. If anybody has stories or pictures relating to St Charles’ history please either drop them in or if possible email them to the church’s email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.