A Catholic church has held its final service after nearly 90 years of serving its parish.
Parishioners past and present attended the final Mass at Our Lady’s Chapel on Altham Lane, Huncoat, which will now close following a review by the Diocese of Salford.
The ‘service of thanksgiving’ was also celebrated by the Rt Rev John Arnold, Bishop of Salford, and parish priest Fr Simon Stamp.
They were also joined by Rural Dean Fr Peter Hopkinson and Canon David Lupton who had previously served the parish.
Fr Simon Stamp said it was a ‘sad occasion’ but they are also looking forward to an ‘exciting’ future.
He said: “Although the final Mass at Our Lady’s Chapel in Huncoat was a sad occasion, because it meant saying farewell to a building which for many years generations of families have passed on and celebrated the Catholic faith, at the same time, it was also uplifting because the Bishop, in his homily, focused our attention on the future of our Parish.
“We know, with the certainty of our faith, that Our Lord is always with us, and parishioners have already begun working together as a single new parish in Accrington dedicated to St Anne and St Joseph to build up the Catholic faith in this part of Lancashire.
“So, although it is time to say farewell to Huncoat Chapel, it is also an exciting time for us as we look to the future with the confidence born of faith.”
A mass booklet was produced for the event and included a history of the building and the celebrations which have taken place at the chapel.
Bishop Arnold thanked everyone who organised and attended the service.
He said: “Change can be difficult and demanding and separate people from what is familiar. But change can also create possibilities and opportunities.
“We must ensure that the church continues to be missionary and outward facing, spreading the gospel message of God’s love in practical ways, particularly for the benefit of those most in need.
“Tonight’s Mass has provided us with an opportunity to give thanks for all the years at Our Lady’s Chapel.”
The church was opened in June 1931 by the then Bishop of Salford, Rt Rev Thomas Henshaw.
The Diocese of Salford said no decision has been made on the future use of Our Lady’s Chapel and the land.