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Thursday, September 29, 2016
Famine church remembered
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¬†One of the oldest Catholic churches in England is being celebrated in a new booklet. Author Patrick Gavan, a third generation Irishman, spent more than 15 years researching the history of Mount Saint Mary's, his local church in Richmond Hill, Leeds. His book: 'Memories of Mount St Mary's Church is being published this week. The church dates back to 1853 and is known to many as the 'Famine Church'. Hundreds of families who had escaped starvation in Ireland settled in the area and the church was for many years a social centre for them as well as a place of worship. In 1989 the church was closed, but it was saved from demolition because of its architectural and historical interest. Patrick hopes his booklet will bring attention to the campaign to preserve the church. Although they admit it may not be used again for regular services, campaigners are hoping St Mary's may become a heritage centre to promote the history of the church and the part it played in the local Irish community. Patrick said: "I love St Mary's and I would love others to know it's amazing history." Copies of the book are available at £3.50 from bookshops or by post from Mount St Mary's History Group, c/o 15 Gledhow, Wood Grove, Leeds, Yorkshire LS8 1NZ
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