The Catholic Church of St Mary Immaculate, CatonThe Railway Church
A Warm Welcome to Our Church in Caton
The Catholic Church in Caton is currently undergoing works to extend it and improve the facilities. It may not look welcoming from the outside, but the welcome when you come through the doors will be as warm as you’d wish! Because of the work being done at the moment, there’s no Mass on a Tuesday – it’s being celebrated at 8:00 am in Hornby instead. Our popular Saturday Vigil Mass is not affected, and we look forward to seeing you there.
A Church for Catholics in Caton
The notorious Dr Beeching axe which savaged railway lines up and down the land a generation ago enabled the Catholics of Caton to have this church all of their own.
The idea of a “Railway Church” originated from a much-loved local priest, Fr Tom Mcguiness, who went in search of premises for his growing number of Caton parishioners at the start of the 60’s. With the help of the then Lancaster MP, Mr Humphrey Berkeley, he persuaded the British Transport Commission to sell the one-roomed stone warehouse which the faithful converted into their little church. Margaret Mason remembers well the hard work which was needed to clean the stone from the smoke and grime of the railway age. A new roof was needed and an additional wing was added to incorporate the sacristy, a confessional, baptistry, toilet and workroom.
The Church was dedicated by Bishop Brian Foley on 8th December 1963. The altar, which came later, was previously at St Joseph’s Hospital in Preston and was given to Caton when the hospital in Mount Street closed.
Restore me to Caton
Bishop John Brewer offered a Silver Jubilee Mass of thanksgiving on 8th December 1988 using a historic silver chalice dated 1490, which bears the inscription “Restore me to Caton”. At present, the chalice is kept in the bank for security reasons.
On 23rd February 2001, Canon Nicholas McArdle, (then Parish Priest at Hornby) celebrated the 40th anniversary of his ordination at this church. More than 30 priests attended and Bishop Brian Noble gave the homily.