Skip to content
Caring for our Community
External view of St Johns at transport gateway to Rochdale

A place of worship where community, faith and heritage come together

Eucharistic Ministers regularly administer the Eucharist to the elderly, sick and housebound parishioners of both churches in their homes or in various residential units. Individuals draw great comfort from shared prayers and the opportunity to participate in a short service that often replicates their previous experience of attending Mass on a regular basis. Approximately fifty parishioners are visited.

Annually, Fr. Michael celebrates a Mass at St. John’s for the elderly, sick and housebound where they are often accompanied by family members. This is an occasion when the parish rallies around to provide transport to and from church and refreshments are enjoyed after Mass. It is always well attended and the social side ‘ spills over ‘ from the Marian Room into the main body of the church. It is an occasion when old friends and acquaintances meet up and share conversation, laughter and memories.

Such an event involves cooperation from several Parish groups such as Pastoral, Liturgy and Social.

Covid has recently restricted gatherings and building work at St. John’s has temporarily halted Masses and social events but we plan to host a Mass and social for the elderly, sick and housebound in June/ July 2023.

The St. Vincent de Paul Society (SVP) is part of an international Christian Voluntary network dedicated to tackling poverty in all its forms by providing practical assistance to people in need. Founded in 1844, SVP fosters diverse and inclusive connections that are welcoming of all faiths and none. The Society aims to extend a hand of kindness in the care and personal service of individuals and families who need support.

Closer to Home

 St Gabriel’s and St John’s SVP Conference is a small unit of volunteers within the parish who offer financial, emotional and practical support to individuals and families.

Example of work undertaken.

 During Christmas 2022 the parish SVP team liaised with St John’s RC Primary School, St Gabriel’s RC Primary School, and St Cuthbert’s RC High School. Money and food was provided for needy families at St John’s; at St Gabriel’s eleven families received toys and gifts at Christmas; and in the same way, at St Cuthbert’s funds were provided for the school to support needy families.

Fifty two parishioners, the elderly, sick or housebound, received a small gift and a card to show they were remembered. Fr. Michael celebrated Mass for all these parishioners and we plan to host a special Mass and social for them during the summer.

Many thanks for the continued support of the parish.

In response to the strategic vision of Diocesan leadership, in October 2017 the parish established a leadership management structure to support and further develop the work of integrating our two churches.

There are six active groups in the parish: a Liturgy group, a Pastoral group, a Youth group, a Building and Maintenance group, a Finance group, and a Social and Communication group. The chair and vice chair of each of these groups form the Parish Leadership team, along with the designated Caritas and Safeguarding representatives.  The Leadership Team has an elected Chair and Deputy and a works toward an agreed constitution. The Parish Priest is an ex officio member of the Leadership team and the Finance group.

Parish timetable & events

If you wish to attend Mass, there will be Masses at the following times:

  • Sunday – 9.15 – St John’s
  • Sunday – 11.00 – St Gabriel’s
  • Monday – 10.00 – St John’s
  • Tuesday – 9.15 – St Gabriel’s
  • Thursday – 10.00 – St John’s
  • Friday – 9.15 – St Gabriel’s
  • Saturday – 12.00 – St John’s

There will, of course, be additional liturgies at times such as Christmas and Easter, as well as when we have baptisms, weddings and funerals.

There will be a formal, well-publicised opening of St John’s in 2023 for heritage visitors, once we have everything in place to welcome our visitors. From that point the opening times will be

There will be plenty for you to do and see if you are planning to visit St John’s. Other ad hoc activities may be held outside these times and will be advertised on this site as appropriate; for example, four musical concerts have been planned for 2023.

As part of the opening-up offering, there will be a variety of activities on offer at different points during the year, including family arts and crafts sessions. You will have the opportunity to listen and read about the lives and stories of the people who have worshipped and lived in and around St John’s.

We will explore how migration has shaped and changed the area over the life of the church. You will be able to tour the church with knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides and view regular temporary exhibitions featuring the outcomes of our activity themes, such as heritage photography.

We will continue to hold heritage tours and open days to welcome into the church friends old and new. We will continue to work with our partners in the community to produce podcasts to reflect on buildings in the area. St John’s will be used as inspiration for personal reflections on the historic built environment of Rochdale as well as themes such as migration and faith, and to investigate the historical similarities and connections between St John’s and Islamic architecture (e.g. Byzantine mosaic and domes). Participants will explore the regeneration of Rochdale through heritage and what this means to them and their own personal stories.

We will also continue to improve the gardens around the church for the benefit of all. People will be welcome to visit the gardens during our opening times to view the planting or just to sit and relax and enjoy a cup of tea and a chat.

At its heart, St John’s has always been a place of congregation and worship, somewhere for the community to come together, gather and meet. The parish has worked hard to engage with local community leaders to develop ideas about how we can work together. We believe that the church and its surroundings support many people who not only have a wealth of similar experiences but also a strong sense of public pride and through our activity programmes, we want to open the building up to our diverse Rochdalian communities and visitors to the town.

Our activities will be open to people of all or no faith, families, individuals, groups of friends, and parishioners old and new.  You will not be disappointed if you visit this hidden gem – everyone is welcome.

Have your say

If you have got this far using the new parish website, it would be great if you could spare a couple of minutes to complete our short survey. Your responses will help us to improve the way we present our parish and our heritage. The survey is completely anonymous and the results will only be used for statistical purposes.

Sign up to our newsletters

Keep up-to-date with all the happenings at St John the Baptist Church, Rochdale. Sign up to our newsletters and be the first to hear about upcoming events, news and opportunities to support the Church.

    Back To Top
    Translate »