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Visiting our Church
school visit to St Johns Rochdale

You will not be disappointed if you visit this hidden gem – everyone is welcome.

St John’s is a working church in a multicultural community that has always been a place of congregation but is now opening its doors with a new and more inclusive welcome offer.

The parish would like to invite you to come and enjoy this incredible building and its heritage. To enable you to visit St John’s when it’s convenient for you, the church will be open an additional 23 hours per week. We want to welcome people into the church for community events and activities, private prayer and reflection, and to provide the opportunity to learn about the heritage of the building and its people.

St John’s will be open every Wednesday between 10.00am – 2.00pm, for guided tours of the church and the mosaic. Admission is free!

General visiting information
  • Admission is free (although we always welcome donations towards the running of the church)
  • There is disabled access to almost all areas of the church
  • Friendly, well-informed staff will welcome you and answer your questions
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.

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 faiths 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.

Booking a visit to the Church

If you would like to take a group to see St John’s, it would be helpful to book a visit so a guide can be available to take you around. Please fill in the booking form, click SEND, and our heritage officer, Gemma Bailey, will be in touch with you.

    Visiting our church

    Visitors to St John’s are welcome at many points throughout the week. St John’s is very easy to find however you travel. Please take a look below for details on your preferred mode of transport.

    Various buses to the railway station stop directly opposite the church.

    Bikes should be left in the church car park. They may not be taken into the church.

    If you travel by tram, the tram stops outside St John’s.

    If you travel by train to Rochdale Station, St John’s is directly in front of the station.

    If you are travelling by car, be careful not to miss the narrow, one way turn from close to the entrance to the railway station that takes you to St John’s.

    The free church car park is on the right immediately after the church.

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    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.

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