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Thread: St Joseph's Seminary, Upholland, Lancs - Jan 2009

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    Arrow St Joseph's Seminary, Upholland, Lancs - Jan 2009


    St Joseph's Seminary, Upholland, Lancashire



    St Joseph's College was founded in 1880 by Bishop Bernard O'Reilly to be the Seminary serving the North West of England. The college was formally opened in 1883 and was situated in Walthew Park, Upholland, the geographic centre of the Diocese of Liverpool.

    The first Junior Seminary of the Diocese was founded at St Edward's College in 1842 as a Catholic 'classical and commercial school' under the direction of the secular clergy and was established in Domingo House, a mansion in Everton. Its President for the next forty years was to be Monsignor Provost John Henry Fisher. When the Junior Seminarians moved to St Joseph's the school was taken over by the Christian Brothers (who also ran St John Rigby College in nearby Orrell) and continues to this day and now serves as the Liverpool Cathedral Choir School. In recognition of the heritage owed to St Edward's College one of the two chapels at Upholland was consecrated as the St Edward the Confessor Chapel.

    Along with Ushaw College, the other main seminary in the north of England, candidates for the priesthood studied and were ordained at the college. Up until the second Vatican Council boys as young as 11 years of age entered the Junior Seminary before progressing to the senior Seminary at 18. In 1972 following the changes of Vatican 2 the two junior seminaries of St Joseph's and Ushaw merged at Upholland, and in 1975, with declining numbers of men from Ireland offering themselves for the (now) Archdiocese of Liverpool the Senior seminary moved to Ushaw. St Joseph's continued to offer boarding school education for boys considering a vocation until 1987. Up to 1991, the building housed a small group of students who were still interested in a vocation to the priesthood, but rather than being schooled within the premises, they attended St. John Rigby College, Orrell.

    Following the end of the seminary training and boarding education St Joseph's became home to the Northern Institute and was used as a retreat and conference centre for the Archdiocese under the leadership of Msgr John Devine.

    The election of Archbishop Patrick Kelly saw the controversial decision to close St Joseph's altogether and the property was sold to Anglo International who instructed AEW Architects for the conversion of the Grade 2 listed RC Seminary to 92 apartments, with 220 new build enabling units. The major controversies of the decision were the ongoing financial viability of St Joseph's (it had just started to make a small surplus under Devine's management) and the sale and disposal of the art and artefacts in the college, much of which had been donated by various parishes and people of the Archdiocese who were not offered their donations back.



    ______________________________________________


    The Letter Of Closure



    Archbishop's House

    Lowood Carnatic Road
    Mossley Hill,
    Liverpool
    L18 8BY

    My dear People,

    I know of only one way to begin this letter, and that is by telling you directly that, together with the Trustees of the Archdiocese, I have decided - and the decision will take effect from November 30 - that we should no longer continue to use the buildings at St Joseph's College, Upholland. My words are chosen carefully: I say that 'we should not'- not that 'we cannot' - continue to use them. In fact it would not be impossible to finance their continued use: if we were prepared to set aside many other diocesan developments and activities, the money could certainly be found. However, I am convinced that that is a path I should not follow.

    For several years now one attempt after another has been made to find a way to maintain and develop the buildings, without detriment to other aspects of life within the Archdiocese; but, despite huge efforts, we have got no where. At the same time, careful note has been taken of the actual use made of the buildings by the Archdiocese, and we have found that, given their size and the amount of work and money expended on them, the usage has been very small. Moreover, it is clear that alternative venues for more or less all current activities can be found elsewhere. Indeed, there is a strong argument that it would be to our advantage to use other venues, which would, for example, provide greater ease of access for those with special needs and would be more readily accessible to those who must rely upon public transport.

    I need hardly tell you that this has been a most difficult decision to make. I will long remember the last time I heard Archbishop Worlock speak at Upholland. He made two points very clearly: first of all, that he would not be looking to the parishes to find any more resources to maintain the buildings: but, secondly, that he was hopeful that other avenues were opening to provide the necessary funding. As I walked through the building on that day, I saw how little of the vast space was in use: the task being faced was enormous. Sadly, his hope about those new avenues, despite every effort, has not been fulfilled.

    Of course my difficulty has been the greater because, as I am only too well aware, Upholland has not been part of my life as it has been part of the life of so many others. However, I return to that crucial word 'should', which I used at the beginning of this letter. Today is Home Mission Sunday and with it comes the challenge that can never be ignored: we are all called to the task of spreading the gospel, of making disciples here at home. That in turn means that I am not free to use the Archdiocese's resources in any way I please. I may use them only in the way that will most effectively initiate and develop enterprises which strengthen us all as disciples and heralds of the Lord. The special collection today supports the work of the Catholic Missionary Society, and it's helpful to recall how this Society, so important in the eyes of Cardinal Heenan, has so often and so effectively changed to respond to new situations in which the gospel in its fullness must be preached. I believe that at this time the Archdiocese is summoned to change for the sake of the gospel

    May I commend to your grateful prayers all those, especially Monsignor John Devine, who have worked so hard to retain the use, and exploit the potential, of the Upholland Buildings. We thank God for the blessings that those buildings have brought the Archdiocese in the past. But now it is by change, in response to the 'signs of the times', that we can be assured that we shall receive his blessings still.



    Yours devotedly in Christ,



    Patrick Kelly

    Archbishop of Liverpool



    _______________________________________________




    The Pics






























































































    Old Photograph Of The Chapel From The 1930's









    › See more like: St Joseph's Seminary, Upholland, Lancs - Jan 2009
    Last edited by CHEWY; 7th Feb 09 at 16:08.

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    Thanks given by: TeeJF

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    I really love this site...one of the few that others have been to that I'd like to see for myself.
    You've captured some gorgeous images there, Chewy. Many of which I haven't seen before. Love the little still-life collections...china dogs, hurricane lamp, bottle, etc.
    Very nice work.
    "...If we lose our spiritual bond with the land they'll be nothing left of us as a nation..." Phil Rickman.

    I can't read and I can't write, but that don't really matter,
    I come from the west country and I can drive a tractor.


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    Thanks Foxy

    Sure is a must see if you get chance.
    i got split up from a friend, and spent 2hours wandering around on my own
    i had to collect some of the ornaments from floor, and position them for shots.
    i could easily spend another full day or 5 here again

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    Default Seriously good stuff.


    Not much impresses me these days,but this report has.The shot with the crutch leaning against the bed is mint as is the rest to be honest.Nice one Chewy and well done.

    Stu
    The Pyestock widow

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    Thanks Stu

    the ward shot was another i set the props up for.
    not sure if it was the ginourmous pile of pigeon crap and rotting pigeons, but that room smelt of fresh sick
    so many goodies left to make a good pic up with left all over.
    (i put the little table in pic5 in the corridor, it was in a little room)
    just a vase with some artificial flowers within would've finished it off nicely

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    What an amazing site.. in perfect condition and free from pikeys damage.. this ones deffo on my list for this year now

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    This whole thread is amazing, strike that, this whole forum is amazing. The place visited here has a lot of history, a lot of it not too positive, I believe it was the site of much abuse and that may be the real reason it was closed in the end.

    As for it's history, it is somewhere my father almost ended up, pre-my mother. He was about to embark on a religious life and this was to be his seminary, but then he met my mum, quite an odd idea in my head.
    Anyway although I have spent a lot of my life exploring, never before has it been done with any purpose, but I do think I would love to go here at some point this year.

    Of course being a new member and not having access to PM's I hope someone might look up my email address in my profile and, lend a hand so to speak ;-)

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    Amazing shots Chewy - out of interest (and because I'm just starting to get into it) are any of these shots HDR to give the extra vivid feel - I know this question probably should be in the photography thread but I don't know how to link it to this thread from there so sorry in advance.....
    Putting the mole into the hole.............

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  9. #9
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    Thanks guys

    the only damge is from water Jonas.
    a couple of floors are a bit dodgy, but that's only a very small percentage..
    just hope it gets sorted sometime soon before any real damage occurs.

    ________________________________________

    great story about your father nearly ending up here Sallybear
    as i walked round, i imagined what it was like when in use..
    reminded me of somewhere you'd go with the school on one of them study weeks away

    be interested as in to why it did eventually close.


    ________________________________________

    Hi Holymole

    none of these are HDR, although some may look like they are..
    i use a little trick using Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 (any Paint Shop should be the same really).

    i use "Clarify" set to maximum (20).
    this gives it some nice effects.

    i then boost up the colours using "backlighting" option.

    this now gives you a bright colourful image, so i bring it down with the "brightness".

    i may finish it using the "edge" option to sharpen parts.


    the chapel shots, ward and the one above it with the picture in were all done using the above technique

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHEWY View Post
    ...none of these are HDR, although some may look like they are..
    i use a little trick using Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 (any Paint Shop should be the same really)...
    Ah, that's really useful to know...I did wonder!
    I'm just getting into using some techniques with PaintShopPro myself, born out of desperation whilst prepping old work for my website. The photos were very poor quality and I can't get them again as the places have since been demolished, so I've been playing around with colour levels and saturation, brightness, contrast, etc. I'm getting some excellent results and even managing to salvage some that I thought were totally unusable, with the added bonus of interesting effects. Big fan of PSP now!
    "...If we lose our spiritual bond with the land they'll be nothing left of us as a nation..." Phil Rickman.

    I can't read and I can't write, but that don't really matter,
    I come from the west country and I can drive a tractor.


    Website Story

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DerelictPlaces is a forum for people with an interest in the history and documentation of derelict and abandoned buildings to come together and share their experiences, photography and historical findings. Our military, industrial and historical heritage is fast disappearing under the pressure of regeneration, the need for new housing, and often through simple neglect; Our aim is to document these places before they disappear entirely.
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