A more complete history of St Lewis’ parish up to its 150th anniversary in 1977 was written by the headteacher of the school at the time, Mr James Carus, who has allowed us to reproduce it here. Please click below to read:
The church of St Lewis’ was opened in 1827 – two years before The Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829. Its founder was Fr Louis de Richebec, an exile from Normandy and who was working with the Jesuits from Southworth Hall (where Mass had been said for many years, as well as at Culcheth Hall. Baptismal records housed in the County Records Office, Preston, go back to 1795).
Fr Louis served St Lewis’ up to his death on 1845. For the next ten years the Parish was served by the Jesuits. Since 1855 Diocesan clergy have served the Parish. During the last century there have been only seven Parish Priests!
The Parish covers a wide area; Croft, Culcheth, Glazebury and Kenyon. A census made in about 1865 records about 210 adults in the Parish. Today the estimated Catholic population is about 700 with a Mass attendance of about 200 each Sunday.
Our first school (an all age school) was an old barn (part of the site purchased in 1825 and adjoining the present church) – the earliest log book dates back to 1877. Numbers were low – 31, 26, 23 were recorded in the post war years and conditions were very primitive by present day standards.
In 1960 part of the present school, the first three classrooms and assembly hall was opened by Archbishop Heenan and the school was completed in 1970.
Our patron, St Lewis, was born in 1214 and was the King of France. He died on a crusade in Tunis in 1270.