Birkenhead News - March 1899

''On Sunday afternoon the foundation stone of the new Catholic Church of St. Joseph at the junction of Willow Bank and North Roads was laid with due ceremony by the Right Rev. Dr. Allen Bishop of Shrewsbury. There was a large gathering including representatives of the Young Men’s Societies of St. Werburgh’s, St. Laurence’s and Our Lady’s Churches, and also a contingent of the Third Order of St. Francis from Liverpool. The ceremony was taken part in by the Very Revv. Canon T. J. Marsden, V.G. E. Lynch, H. Singleton and J. Barry, Fathers G Carton, E. R. Hitchings and W.S. Jones. His Lordship alluded to the pressing necessity for the Church through the growing population of the neighbourhood. He also referred to the responsibility which rested upon the shoulders of those connected with the Church, and expressed the hope that they would not cease their energies, or stay their generosity until the burden of debt was entirely liquidated. About £100 was laid upon the stone, which was inspected at the close of service. Father Carton presented the Bishop with a beautiful silver trowel and thanked His Lordship for his attendance, and the Catholics of the locality and from Liverpool for their assistance. The foundation stone contained copies of the Birkenhead newspapers, coins of the realm and the usual documents bearing the names of the architect and Father Carton. The new edifice which will accommodate 600 persons will be of the Gothic style, of brick and terracotta facings. The roof will be panelled, the flooring of wood blocks, and the seats of pitchpine. There will be a nave and two aisles. All modern appliances for ventilation will be used and provision will be made for an installation of electric light. Attached to the church will be the Presbytery. The contractor is Mr. P. Rothwell. ''
The total cost of the church building was £9,200 much of which was borrowed. Therefore there was to be much fund raising over the next few years to pay off this substantial debt.

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