For almost 170 years, countless Catholics and visitors of every faith and Christian denomination have crossed the threshold of this holy place, experiencing the presence of God and filling it with prayer, song and contemplation. I am privileged to share this experience every day, with parishioners and visitors alike.
The foundation stone of St John’s was laid in 1844 by Bishop James Sharples and the church was opened on 9 August 1848: Bishop Brown celebrated a Solemn High Mass and Bishop (later Cardinal) Nicholas Wiseman gave the sermon in the presence of the Bishops of the other Vicariates of England and Wales. St. John’s was then elevated to cathedral status and William Turner was consecrated the first Bishop of Salford on 25th July 1851; As a consequence, St John’s became one of the first four Catholic cathedrals in England and Wales to come into existence since the English Reformation.
However, the cathedral not only serves as the seat of the Bishop of Salford and therefore the Mother Church of the Diocese of Salford but also continues to serve as the parish church for the local Catholic community, which is constantly evolving. The cathedral is therefore, a living house of prayer where Holy Mass and the sacraments of the Church are celebrated all year round.