St John Plessington

St John Plessington

In the northwest corner of the nave stands a memorial shrine dedicated to St John Plessington, with some fine wood carving by Stephen Horn. This was originally erected by Fr Conway, but had to be moved to its present position and was enlarged when the narthex was being erected.

 

John Plessingtom was born about 1637 in Dimples Lane, less than half a mile away. As a young boy, whose ancestor had earlier defended Greenhalgh Castle on behalf of the King, he was sent to Scarisbrick Hall, where a small private school was run by the Jesuits. He studied later at St Omer and at the English College, Valladolid, where he was ordained at the age of 25. He returned to this country and at first worked in Holywell, north Wales, and later at Puddington in Cheshire, where he lived with the Massey family. Following the Titus Oates Plot of 1678, he, along with many other priests, was arrested, imprisoned and finally, on 19th July 1679, was executed in Chester, the only charge against him being that of his priesthood. He is believed to be buried in the graveyard of the parish church, Burton-in-Wirral, Cheshire. He was canonised on 25th October 1970 in Rome.

 

The shrine was opened and blessed by Bishop Foley on Sunday 16th July 1972. With kind permission of Mr and Mrs P Brown of the Dimples, solemn Mass was celebrated in the garden on Saturday 14th July 1979, to honour the Saint's tercentenary. The parish also has a relic of the saint - a small piece of cloth stained with the Martyr's blood.

 

 

Extract: 'A History of Saints Mary and Michael, Bonds, Garstang' - R. N. Bamber - 1994/2008