The Roman Catholic Parish of St Mary’s Carlton and Selby Priest: Fr Anthony Wilson Tel: 01757 703345 E-Mail: stmarys.selby@dioceseofleeds.org.uk 
© Church of St Mary’s Carlton and Selby 2016
History
St Mary’s Catholic Church, Selby
St Mary’s Catholic Church, Carlton
The history of St Mary's goes back to the time before Catholic Emancipation (1829) and the Restoration of the Hierarchy (1850).  The first Catholic chapel in Selby was provided by Lord Petre.  It was a large upper room in the house of his steward in Ousegate and served as the only Catholic place of worship in Selby for nearly fifty years. From 1783 Father Edward Leadbitter O.P. came from Stourton to Selby on alternate Sundays to offer Mass.  In 1785 he was appointed to take charge of Selby and this he did until his death in 1788.  Father Leadbitter was buried by his patron, Lord Petre, in Selby Abbey. He was succeeded by Rev. Charles Forestier who settled in this country as a refugee of the French Revolution and as the chaplain to the Petres.  He too is buried in Selby Abbey. Mr. Forestier came as chaplain to the Petres, but his successor, the Reverend George Best, was appointed to the mission at Selby by the Vicar Apostolic of the Northern District (there were no dioceses or parishes until the restoration of the Hierarchy in 1850). His is the first of the brass tablets in the church recording the names of the parish priests of Selby: the memorials to his two predecessors are in the Abbey where they were buried, there being at the time of their deaths neither a parish nor a permanent church. Canon Best (he became a canon of the new diocese of Beverley in 1850) was rector of the Mission for over 30 years, during which the first church was built by the honourable E. R. Petre. This handsome little church stood at the corner of Gowthorpe and Brook Street. A few years later there began the terrible famine in Ireland, and immigrants poured into the north of England.  They overcrowded the houses of this little country town, which had neither water supply nor sanitation. An epidemic of cholera soon broke out, of which many died, while many fled to other towns and lands.  But the numbers remaining even after the epidemic overcrowded the little church on Gowthorpe. A new church had to be built. The present St Mary's and St Germain (1856) was designed by Dunn and Hansom of  London and is built in the early decorated Gothic style.  Notable features include the East Window consisting of five lights.  The centre one is of Our Lady, the principal patron of the church, and St Germain and St Lawrence are on one side with St William of York and St Edward the Confessor on the other.  The arms of the Petre Family appear in the side windows. Near the Sacred Heart chapel are the tablets commemorating members of the congregation who died in the two World Wars.  In 1919 a sculptured pulpit was erected to the memory of those who died in the Great War and this now forms the ambo. In 1931 the Lourdes Grotto was added to the church, with a replica of the altar that was then in the Grotto at Lourdes. Towards the end of the 1970s and early 1980s the sanctuary was re-ordered in line with the liturgical requirements of Vatican Council ll. In 2000 major repair work was carried out on St Mary's, principally on the roof and the tower and steeple. The Parish Centre (designed by Martin Stancliffe, Architects of York)  was added to the church in 2004 and was blessed and opened on 19 November of that year.
Moves to build St Mary's Roman Catholic church in Carlton juxta Snaith appear to have begun in 1829 when Catherine Stapleton, Lady Throckmorton, sister to Miles Thomas, the 8th Baron Beaumont, subscribed £1000 towards the final cost of around £4,300. Until then the local community  had attended Mass in the private chapel in Carlton Hall; this building was later extended and became Carlton Towers. The church, presbytery and a school opened on the 31st August 1842. In 1876 a small convent behind the church was established for the nunsof the  Order of the Sisters of Mercy. A walled footpath called Convent Walk, known locally as Nun's Trod, linked the three buildings. The church is built in the Gothic style, with white brick and stone dressings. The stained glass window above the altar is in three sections, with the Blessed Virigin Mary in the centre, flanked by St Augustine and St Gregory. The village of Carlton has a particular claim to fame as the birthplace, in 1865, of Arthur Hinsley who later became Cardinal Hinsley. He made a memorable return to Carlton in January 1936 after an absence of 40 years, shortly after becoming Archbishop of Westminster.
Catholicism in the Selby Area
The   history   of   Catholicism   in   Selby   goes   back   to   the   eleventh   century.      In   1069,   the   first   Benedictine   Monastery   was   founded   in   Selby, following   the   legendary   vision   of   St   Germanus   by   the   French   Monk   Benedict.      Benedict   was   the   first   of   33 Abbots   who   ruled   the   monastery until   King   Henry   VIII’s   time   when   monasteries   were   dissolved,   around   1537.      It   is   not   thought   that   there   were   any   Catholics   remaining   in Selby after this for a while. Catholics   began   to   come   back   to   the   area   slowly,   with   some   prominent   Catholic   families   moving   here.      The   Stapleton   family   moved   to Carlton   in   the   fourteenth   century,   and   maintained   a   Chapel   in   Carlton   Hall   from   about   1380.      It   was   thought   that   they   harboured   Priests   at Carlton Hall and at Quosquo Hall in Camblesforth. Around   the   time   of   1600,   a   Catholic   family   called   the   Walmsleys   came   to   the   Selby   area.      In   1711   Catherine   Walmsley   married   Robert   James the   7th   Lord   Petre.      In   1783,   a   Missionary   Priest,   called   Fr   Leadbitter,   began   to   say   Mass   in   Selby   on   alternate   Sundays.      This   was   originally in the house of Lord Petre’s Steward in Ousegate, at the end of what is now the railway station’s platform 2. It   was   10 th    Baron,   Edward   Robert   Petre,   who   was   born   in   1794,   who   instigated   the   building   of   the   first   Catholic   Church   in   Selby   and   after Lord   Petre’s   death,   his   widow   built   the   present   Church   in   his   memory.      The   first   Church   was   at   the   corner   of   Gowthorpe   and   Brook   Street, but   it   became   too   small   when   many   immigrants   came   to   Selby   from   Ireland   during   the   famine,   and   Mrs   Petre   instigated   the   building   of   a bigger Church in 1856. In   the   meantime   in   Carlton,   moves   to   build   St   Mary's   Carlton   appear   to   have   begun   in   1829   when   Catherine   Stapleton,   Lady   Throckmorton, sister   to   Miles Thomas,   the   8th   Baron   Beaumont,   subscribed   £1,000   towards   the   final   cost   of   around   £4,300.      Until   then   the   local   community had continued to attend Mass in the private chapel in Carlton Hall; this building was later extended and became Carlton Towers. The   church,   presbytery   and   a   school   in   Carlton   opened   on   31 August   1842.      In   1876   a   small   convent   behind   the   Church   was   established   for the   nuns   of   the   Order   of   the   Sisters   of   Mercy.      A   walled   footpath   called   Convent   Walk,   known   locally   as   Nun's   Trod,   linked   the   three buildings. The   Carlton   Church   is   built   in   the   Gothic   style,   with   white   brick   and   stone   dressings.      The   stained   glass   window   above   the   altar   is   in   three sections, with the Blessed Virgin Mary in the centre, flanked by St Augustine and St Gregory. The   present   St   Mary's   and   St   Germain   in   Selby,   which   opened   in   1856,   was   designed   by   Dunn   and   Hansom   of   London   and   is   built   in   the   early decorated   Gothic   style.      Notable   features   include   the   East   Window,   behind   the   Altar,   consisting   of   five   panels.      The   centre   one   is   of   Our Lady,   the   principal   patron   of   the   church,   and   St   Germain   and   St   Lawrence   are   on   one   side,   with   St   William   of   York   and   St   Edward   the Confessor on the other.  The coat of arms of the Petre Family appear in the side windows. Near   the   Sacred   Heart   Altar   are   the   tablets   commemorating   members   of   the   congregation   who   died   in   the   two   World   Wars.      In   1919   a sculptured   pulpit   was   erected   to   the   memory   of   those   who   died   in   the   Great   War.      In   1931   the   Lourdes   Grotto   was   added   to   the   church   by Mrs Ellen O’Neill, with a replica of the altar that was then in the Grotto at Lourdes. In   1952,   Parish   Priest   Fr   Flynn   found   12   Consecration   Crosses   and   Brasses   in   the   Sacristy,   and   discovered   that   the   Church   had   not   been consecrated,   so   it   was   consecrated   on   24   July   1952.      Towards   the   end   of   the   1970s   and   early   1980s,   the   sanctuary   was   re-ordered   in   line with the liturgical requirements of Vatican Council ll.  The new Altar was dedicated in 1982. In February 1953, the Parishes of St Mary’s Selby and St Mary’s Carlton were united.  The Parishes had separated again by 1967. On   11   July   1956,   St   Patrick’s   Chapel   of   Ease   opened   in   Selby,   having   been   built   because   St   Mary’s   was   too   crowded   for   all   Masses,   and   also to   serve   the   community   in   the   Abbot’s   Road   area   of   the   town.      The   cost   of   building   this   was   £6,500,   and   much   of   the   money   and   the furnishings were donated by Parishioners.  Sadly, St Patrick’s closed on 11 June 2006, exactly one month before its 50 th  birthday. In   1956,   six   places   of   worship   were   served   by   the   Parish:   St   Mary’s   Selby,   St   Patrick’s   Selby,   St   Mary’s   Carlton,   a   Chapel   in   Cawood,   a   private oratory at Carlton Towers (where weekday Mass was celebrated) and a Catholic Chapel in the prison camp in Pollington. In   2000,   major   repair   work   was   carried   out   on   St   Mary's   Selby,   principally   on   the   roof   and   the   tower   and   steeple.      The   Parish   Centre   was added to the church in Selby in 2004, and was blessed and opened on 19 November of that year. In September 2008, the Parishes of St Mary’s Carlton and St Mary’s Selby merged once more, to become St Mary’s Carlton and Selby.