2. May, 2013Church News Comments Off

The beautiful  Grade 2 Listed  church of St Mary’s Fernyhalgh was built in 1794 by the Reverend Anthony Lund who was the missioner at Ladye Well the local Marian shrine . Fr Lund who had been at the shrine since 1773 realized that the small chapel at the shrine was not large enough to accommodate the many pilgrims who were coming to pray at the shrine. He resolved to build and endow a larger church unfortunately the nearest land he could purchase was a quarter of a mile along the lane. Fr Lund actively helped to build the church, the presbytery and the Hermitage house adjacent to the church.

The church was lavishly decorated and stained glass windows installed during the incumbency of Fr Richard Gillow 1823-1863; the devotion of Quarant Ore was introduced to Preston at St Marys during this period and many people came out to the church in carriages to see the beautiful image of Our Blessed Lady above the altar and to participate in the candle lit services in a church full of flowers.

To day the church still plays its part in the many pilgrimages that visit Ladyewell  they then walk saying the Rosary to the shrine. Despite the lack of a village the church has an active  congregation who care for it. It is well worth a visit to view its unique decoration.