Parish of St. Mary-Bradford

One Parish - Two Churches


St.Columba’s church can trace its history back to that of St. Anne’s Church, Guy Street, when Canon Daly came to St. Anne’s in January 1911. Canon Daly enlarged and improved existing schools and opened a nursery, at St. Anne’s.


In the 1920’s 850 houses were built in the Bierley district and many families from St. Anne’s moved out into that area, which resulted in the children having to travel from Bierley to St. Anne’s school.


In 1929 a new school had been built on Tong Street, and this also became the new parish centre for St. Columba’s, with mass being celebrated in the summer of that year.


By 1940, Bishop Cowgill, Bishop of Leeds saw that there was a need to cut St. Columba’s off from St. Anne’s and Fr Stoker was appointed as the first Parish Priest. It became apparent that a new Church was needed because the school chapel was becoming too small, as a number of new houses had been added to the Bierley Estate.


In 1953 Fr. Mullane had arrived as the new Parish Priest and he had hoped to have started the construction of a new church. However, in 1955, Bishop Heenan appointed Fr. Durkin as the new Parish Priest and Fr. Durkin wasted no time in purchasing land near the present school and building began in 1958. The delay was due to Bishop Heenan being appointed Archbishop of Liverpool.


St. Columba’s was solemnly opened on the 3rd October 1959 by The Right Reverend George Patrick Dwyer Bishop of Leeds.  

St. Columba's Church.

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St. Columba's 044 St Columba's opening