CONTINUING CONSTRUCTION

But St. Joseph’s was by no means fully completed or fitted out in time for the ceremonial opening. There was much urgent activity to raise the considerable funds necessary for the completion of the installation of all the fittings of the church, the building of the presbytery and Sacristy, and the paying off of what was then an enormous debt.
 
Over the following years, Jumble Sales, Bazaars, Dances, Raffles, Sales of work and numerous ‘second and even third collections were organised by the parish in a very business-like fashion with some events spanning morning afternoon and evening over a period of three days. In 1906 it is recorded that the Pope sent a ‘handsome’ present for the bazaar via the Bishop (Allen). Unfortunately there is no record to say what this gift was or what became of it. Bearing in mind the small congregation and the low wages at the time a tremendous effort was made by the parish to pay off all debts in a very short period of time.
 
According to the parish records many of the fixtures were generously donated often by anonymous benefactors. Substantial amounts of money were also received to help alleviate the large outstanding debt.
 
1901 - The Lady Altar and statue were erected after a special appeal (and through the generosity of a ‘non-Catholic gentleman’.)
 
In 1952 as a memorial to Provost Hazlehurst, the chapel was refurbished by Canon Goodear and a new statue of Our Lady was erected. The halo of the statue was set with precious and semi-precious stones collected from old jewellery donated by parishioners. The casket at the feet of Our Lady contains the names of the parishioners who have promised to say the Family Rosary every day.
 
1901 - The Sacred Heart Altar was erected.
The Sacred Heart Altar was completely renovated in 1970 when the Tabernacle from the High Altar was transferred and a new one put in its place.
 
In 1976 the altar was dedicated to the memory of Father Edward Doyle and a Mass Bell was donated to hang at the side of the altar which is rung by the priest as he is leaving the sacristy. This is still the practice today.
 
1902 - Baptismal Font - donated by Mr. Topham.
 
1903 - Statue of St. Joseph - donated by Mr. Topham.
 
1904 - Stations of the Cross at a total cost of £224, donors names were inscribed under each station ;
1st Station - Mr. & Mrs. Luke Dodd
2nd - Thomas and Julia Hodskinson
3rd - Catherine Clarke
4th - Joseph and Dorothy Topham
5th - Thomas Aloysius Knowles
6th - James and Mary McBride
7th - John and Elizabeth Linden
8th - Maurice and Cecilia Murphy
9th - William and Eileen Freeman
10th - Francis Hatch
11th - Dr. Jennette & Family
12th - The O’Toole Family
13th - Children of Mary
14th - Ellen Ormond & Family
 
1904 - Statue of St. Peter
 
1905 - Pulpit was blessed and opened.
 
1906 - Presbytery and Sacristy were finally added to the church at a cost of £1,700.
 
1908 - First two confessionals were erected.
 
1910 - Organ Gallery, Porch doors, screens and Holy Water Font (at the main entrance) were added.
It is noted that by April 1910 a greater portion of the debt still left on the church had been cleared.
 
1911 - At a cost of £715 the new organ was opened and blessed by Bishop Singleton.
 
The organ was overhauled and refurbished in 1934 and again extensively in 1971. At this time the organ was rededicated as a memorial to Miss Cecily Hoskinson who spent most of her life as organist and choir mistress at St. Joseph’s. A plaque and clock can be seen at the foot of the choir steps. On 10th June 1972 an organ recital was given by Mr Terence Duffy, organist at the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King.
 
1922 - The contract for the High Altar and carved oak Reredos from Salzburg, Austria was signed. Together with the altar rails these were consecrated in November 1923. The replaced original High Altar was donated to the Carmelite Monastery in Birkenhead.
 
1923 - Construction of the third confessional.
 
1924 - The formal opening of the new Sanctuary took place with Solemn High Mass in the presence of Bishop Singleton.
The re-organisation of the Sanctuary to its current style took place in 1969. This was erected as a memorial to Mr. Charles Henry Mather who had been a parishioner of St. Joseph’s for 50 years and was Headmaster of St. Hugh’s Catholic School for 25 years. An inscription on the new marble altar (which now faces the congregation) can be seen on the Priest's side, and reads as follows :-
 
''Pray for Charles Henry Mather, the donor,
and pray for his former staff and pupils
of St. Hugh’s Secondary School 1969''
 
1924 - It is particularly noted that during this year the original church boiler ‘gave out’ and there was an ‘urgent’ second collection introduced for a replacement.
 
1925 - Silver Jubilee Year.


 
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