Mount St Mary's Church, Leeds

Mount St Mary's Church or the Church of the Immaculate Virgin Mary is a Grade II listed building and a redundant Roman Catholic church in Leeds. It was founded in 1851 and designed by Joseph Hansom, with extensions by Edward Pugin. It is next to Mount St Mary's Catholic High School, Leeds
On 24 May 1853, the foundation stone of the church was laid by the Bishop of Beverley, John Briggs. The architect was Joseph Hansom.[5] He also designed Plymouth Cathedral and the Church of St Walburge in Preston, both of which, like Mount St Mary's Church, are in the Gothic Revival style. In the same year, Mount Saint Mary's School was founded next door to the church. It was staffed by the Sisters Oblates of Mary Immaculate. They were housed in a nearby convent and also used the church as their place of worship.

On 29 July 1857, the church was dedicated in a ceremony presided over by Bishop Briggs. The ceremony was notable, because in attendance were the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Nicholas Wiseman, his successor Henry Manning and the founder of the Oblates, Eugène de Mazenod, who was made a saint in 1995. They processed through the city streets before having Mass in the church..

The church was not complete; only the nave and side aisles were built. The chancel and transepts were designed by Edward Pugin, who was a partner in Joseph Hansom's architectural firm from 1862 to 1863. When the chancel and transepts were completed, the church in its entirety was opened on 13 September 1866. The main celebrant at the ceremony was the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Manning.
With the parish population shrinking and the cost of maintaining the church increasing, the Oblates decided to withdraw from the parish. The bill of repairing the church was estimated to be £1.5 million, which was considered to be too expensive for a church with a reduced congregation.

In June 1989, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate handed over administration of the parish to the Diocese of Leeds. It was deconsecrated on the departure of the Oblates. Together they worked to sell the church and hoped that it would still be function in a different role for the local community. In 1996, it was sold to Sanctuary Housing Trust for a nominal amount. Since its sale it has remained unused. Scaffolding is visible around the church, showing that only essential repairs to make the building structurally safe have been carried out

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