History of the Church

St HildaSt Hilda’s Church Prestwich – A short history.

Towards the end of the 19th Century it was felt that there was a great need for a place of worship in the Heaton park area of Prestwich, at the time within the Parish of St Mary the Virgin on Church Lane.

There had been a school at the top of Whittaker lane from 1840 which was used for services but it was not until 1887 that an Iron Church was opened for use by the community.  (The first collection amounted to £5.5.3d!)

This building soon proved to be inadequate and moves were put in place to build a more suitable place of worship.

The Foundation Stone of the present building was laid on “The third day of October ANNO DOMINI 1903” and Consecration took place on 18th October 1904 by Rt Rev Edmund Arbuthnot Knox DD, Bishop of Manchester.

St Hilda’s remained within the Parish of St Mary’s until 1921 when it became a Parish Church in its own right and has remained so ever since.

In 2003 St Hilda’s Church was awarded Grade 2 Listed Status by National Heritage.

The High Altar

High Altar 2As with most churches the High Altar in St Hilda’s is at the east end of the building.

The altar is surmounted by a beautiful screen called a ‘reredos’ and depicts the visit of the Three Wise Men and shows Our Blessed Lady cradling the infant Christ Child.

The screen was given to the church in 1916 by Edith Anderson in memory of her late husband.




The Memorial Chapel

Requiem Chapel 2

This altar is surmounted by two beautiful icons of St Thomas of Canterbury and the Virgin Mary. These, together with the pricket stand, were donated to St Hilda’s by Tony Frost in memory of his parents, Bernard and Lily Frost

The Lady Chapel

This was dedicated in 1922, soon after St Hilda’s became a Parish Church in its own right.

The painting behind the altar of the Virgin and Child with supporting saints incorporates local scenes such as the gates to Heaton Park.

In the same year the Baptistery, at the West End of the church, was also installed and consecrated.

The Nave

DSC_0197Originally the centre of the church had pews which had become old and dilapidated.   Recently the seating for the congregation has been changed and we now have comfortable upholstered chairs that have been very much appreciated by the congregation and our many visitors.