Sacred Heart & St Teresa's Church Wilmslow
The Diocese of Shrewsbury was founded in 1850, its few missions in Cheshire being found mostly in the larger t owns, Birkenhead and Stockport in particular.
Within a generation the number of churches increased substantially, new missions being founded, particularly in the eastern part of the county in towns and villages bordering the railway lines.
The Catholic Church in Wilmslow dates from 1873 and a tablet commemorating the first Rector of the Mission, Father John Coulson, can be seen in the narthex of the church. There is another tablet below it commemorating early benefactors. The English missions became parishes under Canon Law only in 1908 when the Church in this country ceased to be under the supervision of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith.
The first church was situated in Alma Lane, close to the present site of Wilmslow Fire Station and the presbytery was close by. However, in 1900 the Diocese was given land by the Trustees of the De Trafford family for the sole purposes of church, presbytery, parish hall and parish school. The church was built between 1911 and 1914 to the design of William Gillow, a member of the distinguished Lancashire Catholic family. Unhappily, Gillow died shortly after the completion of the church and the construction of the presbytery was delayed until the mid 1920s. The builders were Browns of Wilmslow. The site is a prime one in the centre of what is now a town.
Gillow’s interior has been modified twice, once in the 1980s and more recently in 2008-9. The structure remains in excellent condition. The organ by Hardy of Stockport was built in 1894 for a church in Marple and was placed in Saint Teresa’s in 1914. The Stations of the Cross were painted by a Benedictine nun of Talacre Abbey between 1923 and 1925, the copyright being sold to the Parish Priest for the sum of £1-00! The Shrine of Our Lady dates from 1957. The separate statue of Our Lady of Wilmslow, recalling a medieval devotion, has been placed in the narthex. As part of the more recent changes within the church a separate Baptistery has been designed. The plinths of the font and of the tabernacle are identical in design.