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Regina Coeli - Mary, The Queen of Heaven

Welcome to the "Hidden Gem"

Serving the people of Manchester since 1794


and a warm welcome to the Hidden Gem web site.


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St. Mary's, The Hidden Gem was founded in 1794 in the centre of what was then, the poorest quarter of Manchester. It is now thought to be the oldest post-Reformation Catholic church founded as a church in any major centre of population in England. The Relief act allowing Catholic churches to be built again as churches was passed in 1791. The building of St. Mary's was begun in 1792.

This makes St Mary's the Catholic mother-church of the whole of Greater Manchester.

The church's vital connection with the most ancient Christian traditions of Manchester, and its uninterrupted service to the city since its foundation, make it one of the most beloved institutions in the Greater Manchester conurbation, and far beyond.


thumbnail.png Sketch of St. Mary's by L.S. Lowry
Lowry (1887-1976) was chiefly noted for his portrayal of industrial scenes in Salford and Manchester.
In 1962, he produced this chalk and charcoal sketch of St. Mary's.
(Reproduced by kind permission of the copyright holder, Mrs Carol Danes.)


Entering St. Mary's

Ascendamus in montem Domini. Et adoremus in loco Sancto eius
Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord (Isaiah 2:3).
(And) Praise Him in His Holy places (Psalm 150:1).

(The inscription on the arch at the entrance to the church).

The Arch at the entrance to the church

"This is a very holy place"

Lady Ryder of Warsaw
(Sue Ryder)


Any comments about the content of this website should be addressed to
Canon Denis Clinch on 0161 834 3547.