Contemporary Description of St Wilfrid's RC Church, Hulme
Saint Wilfrid's R.C. Church, Hulme, Manchester
Saint Wilfred's Church situated in Bedford Street, Hulme, is a modern erection, from designs by A.W.Pagin, Esq., the only church in this neighbourhood built by that eminent architect. It is of that first period of the early English style, relying for that beauty which recommends it at a view to the connoisseur, on its simplicity and correctness of detail, and on its symmetry of line and proportion. It consists of a nave and aisles, with deep chancel and side chapels. It is intended, finally to have a tower and spire at the north west angle, though the tower is at present only carried up to the eaves of the nave. Exteriorly it is of brick, with stone dressings, having a deep basement which rises at intervals as steep buttresses. The interior is characterised by an elegance of arrangement which bespeaks the master hand which designed it, and reminds you, on entering, of some of the best efforts of the ancient church builders in this country. It is fitted up with open benches; there is only one gallery, which is at the west end, and contains a small organ. The chancel is separated from the nave by a handsome rood screen, and in the rood loft is a large crucifix. The walls and ceiling, and the chancel arch, as well as the altar, &c, are beautifully decorated. The chapel on the north side of the altar is also richly ornamented, and fitted up with oak benches. Over the altar are three lancet windows, and above them is a circular or wheel window, the whole filled with stain glass. The dimensions of the interior of the church are 130 feet long by 65 feet wide; it is capable of accommodating 1,100 persons. The church, with the presbytery adjoining was built by Myers and Co., of London, under a contract for £5000.
Adjoining to this church is a large burial ground, enclosed by a high wall. In the centre is a very handsome stone crucifix. This is the most extensive of the burial grounds possessed by the Catholics in Manchester, is well laid out and contains several good monumental stones in the revived medieval style.
On the side next to Rutland-street, there is a large school now in progress of erection, of a style of architecture corresponding with that of the church, according to designs given by W.W.Wardell, Esq. of London, who has also lately given designs for the beautiful Catholic Church about to be erected at Newton Heath, near Manchester.
The services at St. Wilfred's Church are, on Sundays, at half-past eight, quarter to ten, and eleven, a.m., and half-past six p.m.; on week days, at half-past seven a.m., in summer, and eight in winter; and every Thursday evening at half-past seven. the clergy attached to this church, at present are the Rev. L. Toole and the Rev. A.S.McCann.
Taken from "THE STRANGERS GUIDE TO MANCHESTER, 1850" by H.G.Duffield.