Archbishop Worlock (Roman Catholic Archbishop of Liverpool) and Bishop David Shepherd, (Anglican Bishop of Liverpool) served the city at the same time in the 1980s. The closeness of their work cultivated the phrase “Better Together” as they sought to enhance ecumenical links between the two denominations.
One of the more visible results of their working relationship was the building of a Joint Catholic/Anglican church in Warrington. It is currently, as far as we are aware the only jointly owned Catholic/Anglican church in the country. Opened on 17th September 1989 during the service of the Vincentian Community to the Parish, the two denominations sit side by side and work together in Cinnamon Brow as a sign to the community of the growing closeness of the Christian churches.
• A crucifix of the resurrected Christ on the cross;
• Dual reservation of the blessed sacrament in tabernacles side by side;
• Scriptural Stations of the Cross;
• A votive candle stand used by all before the statue of Mary and the Christ child;
• A statue of St Brigid of Kildare, patron of the church;
• A multi-function hall for gatherings after services, and used by a variety of community groups in the area.
Administratively, the Joint Council, made up of representatives of both churches meets bi-monthly to negotiate the business of running the church.
From the establishment of the church until 1999 when the Vincentian Community served the Parish the “Twelve Apostles” assisted in the running of the Catholic side. They represented all of the major areas of church life and service from welcomers to catechesis and social committee. After 1999 when Diocesan priests took over the care of the church, the Twelve Apostles were amalgamated into the Parish Council, to form a single Parish Council, along with representatives from St Stephen’s and St Oliver Plunkett churches
Ecumenical services occur during the year, notably on the anniversary of the churches opening (the nearest Sunday to 17th September) and during Advent and Lent. This year we celebrate our 25th anniversary with a special service on 21st September to which both the Bishop of Warrington and the Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool have been invited.
It is during Lent that we celebrate Ecumenical stations of the cross, based on the scriptural stations, rather than the traditionally Catholic ones.
On the first Sunday of the month at 3.00pm there is Holy hour and Benediction; an opportunity for quiet prayer and reflection.
Four times a year we host the Mass for the Housebound and Sick. It is an opportunity for those who do not normally get to Mass to be brought to receive the sacraments of reconciliation, anointing and Holy Communion – all within the one Mass! Afterwards there is the chance for old friends to catch up with one another over a cup of tea and a sandwich.