The Willows

The church and presbytery are set in beautifully landscaped grounds off Ribby Road at the western edge of the town of Kirkham.

The church building itself is most impressive, being Grade II Listed by English Heritage. It was designed by Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, the famous architect, who was renowned for his works on many catholic churches, as well as the Houses of Parliament.

The church was consecrated on 22 April 1845 by Bishop Brown of Liverpool, and was formally opened the following day, on the Feast of St George.

The original Willows chapel and presbytery, both dating from 1809, were still in use [as a presbytery only, since the consecration of the ‘new’ church] until as recently as 1994. In this year a modern presbytery development, adjacent to the church and incorporating a meeting room with small catering facilities, was completed.

The church grounds include three distinct burial ground sites. The oldest of these is close to the location of the old chapel and presbytery, both now demolished and their site used as the car park. The second burial ground is that surrounding the west, south, and east of the church, and this is still used for cremation burials.  The most recent burial ground is across Ribby Road from the church. This site is becoming full, however, and so work has begun on creating a new extension from a disused plot of land adjoining.

Closely associated with the church is the Willows Primary School on Victoria Road, only a few hundred yards from the church itself.