The Parish of St John Southworth...
Our Parish of St John Southworth is part of the Diocese of Salford and is made up of many elements: there are two churches - Christchurch, Carr Road and St John Southworth, Vaughan Street.
Our parish is also made up of two primary schools; our own and also Holy Trinity in Brierfield.
If you would like to visit Holy Trinity's website use the link below:
Our parish is shepherded by our Parish Priest, Fr Gerard.
On the following parish pages you can find out about the life of Saint John Southworth, about Christchurch and St John Southworth Church on Vaughan Street, and also about our Sacramental Programme.
To visit the Diocese of Salford click on the link to the left.
John Southworth was one of the forty martyrs of England and Wales, born in
Lancashire in 1592, and martyred at Tyburn, 28 June, 1654. A member of
a junior branch of the Southworths of Samlesbury Hall, Blackburn, he was
ordained priest at the English College, Douai, and was sent on the mission,
13 October, 1619. He was arrested and condemned to death in Lancashire in
1627, and imprisoned first in Lancaster Castle, and afterwards in the Clink,
London, whence he and fifteen other priests were, on 11 April, 1630, delivered
to the French Ambassador for transportation abroad. In 1636 he had been
released from the Gatehouse, Westminster, and was living at Clerkenwell,
but frequently visited the plague-stricken dwellings of Westminster to convert
the dying. In 1637 he seems to have taken up his abode in Westminster, where
he was arrested, 28 November, and again sent to the Gatehouse. Thence he was
again transferred to the Clink and in 1640 was brought before the Commissioners
for Causes Ecclesiastical, who sent him back there 24 June. On 16 July he was
again liberated, but by 2 December he was again in the Gatehouse. After his final
apprehension he was tried at the Old Bailey, and as he insisted on pleading "guilty"
to being a priest, he was reluctantly condemned by the Recorder of London, Serjeant
Steel. He was allowed to make a long speech at the gallows, and his remains were
permitted to pass into the possession of the Duke of Norfolk's family, who had them
sent to the English College at Douai. The wonderful recovery in 1656 of Francis Howard,
seventh son of Henry Frederick, Earl of Arundel, was attributed to these relics, which
were secreted during the French Revolution, and the present location of which is now unknown.
In 1970, John Southworth was canonized by Pope Paul VI among the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, whose joint feast day is kept on 25 October. The relics of the Saint's body, hidden during the French Revolution, were rediscovered in 1927, and brought back to England, where they are enshrined in Westminster Cathedral.
The procession of St John Southworth's body Cathedral. St John Southworth's casket in the chapel at into Wetsminster Westminster Cathedral today.