Jesus gave his followers two simple commands, to love God with all your heart, mind and soul, and to love your neighbour as yourself. We aim to carry these commands out through the ministry of the Catholic Church.
There are around five million Catholics who live in England. What unites all Catholics is our belief in Jesus Christ and his message of love for all, peace and forgiveness. We also believe that all men and women are equal, because we are made in the image of God, who sent his only son Jesus to earth to save us. We believe in justice and equality too as whatever we do to each other, we do to Christ.
To help us, Catholics are guided by a leader, the Pope and also local leaders in our individual dioceses, the bishops. Jesus asked one of his followers, the apostle Peter, to lead his people and spiritually nourish them. Every Pope is the successor to Peter, and every bishop is the successor to Christ’s apostles.
"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." - John14:6
St Alban's parish was founded in 1773 by Bishop Petre and Father William Fisher, the Faith has put down deep roots in East Lancashire.
In 1773 just two baptisms were entered in the register but by 1780, Bishop Matthew Gibson confirmed 31 parishoners at Blackburn and 110 communicants recorded. It has been estimated that there were 745 Catholics in Blackburn in 1805.
The population of Blackburn continued to grow and between 1801 and 1821, the census confirmed it had almost doubled from 11,980 to 21,940. A similar increase in the Catholic community, no doubt assisted by the Irish immigration, meant that the little St Alban's chapel in Chapel Street needed to be replaced by a larger church on a new site – Larkhill.
The building of the new church began in 1824 and unlike the previous chapels was not hidden by other buildings. Blackburn Catholics were no longer afraid to pin their hearts on their sleeves and this was demonstrated on the Feast of St Alban on 21st June 1826 when the opening of the new church was advertised in the "Blackburn Mail".
This church was to fulfil the needs of the St Alban's congregation for the rest of the nineteenth century until a new building in 1901 which remains to this day.