History & Building
By 1842 Moston had its Parish Church (although in distant Harpurhey) with a branch Sunday school and Church day school. It was another 25 years before it was to be a parish in its own right, which was probably due to the population increasing steadily by the mid 1860’s creating a pressure for a new Church. On 6th October, St Mary’s was consecrated by the first Bishop of Manchester, Prince Lee.
An unknown source copied in 1912 tells us that St. Mary’s Church cost £2,500 and the registers date from 1869.
On the land next door to Church, St Mary’s Church Day School stood from 1844. During the 1960s and 1970s it was recognised that a new school building was critical and many fund raising events took place.
The Rectory was situated across the road from the church at the back of the bowling greens. Beyond it was a plot of land where summer galas used to take place but this became the designated area for the new school, which opened in 1971 The old school was demolished and in its place a new Rectory was built in 1972. The old Rectory became a Music School but this too has since been demolished.
In the 1980’s more serious fundraising took place in order to replace the Church’s roof.
Outside Church stands the mounting steps, which are reputed to have been used by Oliver Cromwell. These were given to St Mary’s by Lightbowne Hall, which was demolished to make space for a new Rectory at St Luke’s Moston.
The Church building is in reasonably good repair. It has oil central heating and can seat 250 - 300 people. Our organ erected in 1906 has just been repaired and tuned but is in need of a regular organist to play it. The Church has a sound system as well as facilities for the hard of hearing.
In recent times we have removed a few pews midway along the nave for wheelchair and pram access and at the back of the nave to create more space. Pews in the chancel have also been replaced with chairs. This year we have had a ramp built to the main door to comply with the law regarding disabled visitors. Consideration now has to be given to toilet facilities for the disabled. We have a small basic kitchen area for preparation of simple refreshments. The clergy and choir vestries have been made into one room with overhead storage space which is much more practical.
Even with 147 years history we have only just reached the preparation to appoint our twelfth incumbent!