As Chairman to the Governing Body of St. Anne’s RC Primary School, I would like to welcome you to our school web site. The information contained on the site should help to keep parents, children and prospective parents in touch and up to date with all that is happening in the school timetable.
You will also find a link to the Church website and podcast on the site. I encourage all our parents and school children to regularly log on and to read what is happening in both the school and the parish.
HISTORY OF ST ANNE’S CHURCH
The history of catholicity in the parish of Fairfield dates from the year 1846. It was about that time, whilst Fr. Turner (afterwards the Bishop of Salford ) had charge of the Mission of St. Augustine, Granby Row, and when the extensive boundaries of that parish stretched over Ardwick, Chorlton, Hulme, Clayton, Bradford, Openshaw, Ashton-Under-Lyne and even beyond the river Medlock, that a few Catholics of the neighbourhood of Hr. Openshaw and Gorton met together and encouraged by Fr. Turner, established a Sunday school in a house which used to adjoin the Bridge Inn, off Abby Hey Lane. This was the nursery ground of the early parish of Fairfield. Which in the beginning comprised of Gorton, Droylsden, Openshaw and part of Clayton townships.
In 1849, Fr. M.J Daly O.M.I. and Fr. P.J. Gray O.M.I became the first pastors. More commodious premises had previously been bought by Fr. Turner for £650. Fr. Daly left almost immediately to establish a new mission at Failsworth, whilst Fr. Gray continued his labours until July 1851, but he returned to Fairfield in 1855 where he remained for another year.
When the Franciscans came to Manchester in 1861, they were given charge of St. Anne’s. They stayed for the next four years, when they transferred to Gorton Lane (St. Francis). After several priests, Fr. Richard Power took charge and he built a new school, church and presbytery in the 1980’s at the cost of £3800. The school cost £600 and acuminated 300 children and was erected by Mr. Smith of Droylsden. The church cost approximately £2500. The 26 years of Fr. Power’ administration were years of remarkable progress in the building, population and consolidation. His zeal for the common good broke down many prejudices he had encountered in his early days in Fairfield. He provided a religious and social life for the people of the parish. The church remains much the same as when he built it. The old school has gone now but it lasted until the 1960’s and 1970’s when it moved to its present site.
Another priest many people will have heard about was Fr. Hanrahan who came to St. Anne’s in 1904. He extended the school premises and in October 1907 Bishop Casartelli laid the foundation stone of the new extension which was opened the following April. The school then accommodated 508 pupils. He also acquired the property in Rosina Street which became the presbytery. There have been many good priests involved in the development of St. Anne’s over the years, including; Fr. Mann; Fr. Lynch; Fr. Walsh, Fr. Keane and our present Parish Priest Fr. Chris.