In 1871, a large barn was converted into a chapel for the Convent, with a side transept as a mission chapel. The side transept had large doors so that it could be shut off from the chapel and used as a school during the week.

The Convent Chapel, which was named 'Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and St Joseph', was designed in the Gothic Style. The 'architect' of the chapel, and the corridors leading to it, was M. Victoire Dupont, sister of M. Clotilde Dupont who was first Superior of Upton.

 

Upton Hall Convent Chapel about 1910

Most of the chapel furnishings including the three altars, the statues, the Stations of the Cross and the Communion Rails were all gifts of Mr Bilsborrow of the Fylde

 

Upton Hall Convent Chapel in 1937

The Mission Chapel was named 'St Joseph', and the Convent Chaplain became Rector of St Joseph's

Monsignor Hilton celebrated the first mass in the new chapel in 1871; the chapel was first registered for marriages in 1874 and Bishop Brown consecrated the high altar in September 1875.

 

St Joseph's Mission Chapel

The Reverend John Quinn left in 1872 and the Reverend John O'Callaghan took his place.

In 1873, the average number at mass in the Mission Chapel was 54, with about 100 nuns and girls in the Convent Chapel.

Catholics from Upton, Greasby, Moreton, Leasowe and indeed from most places on the West side of the Wirral attended mass in the Mission Chapel. As the number of Catholics increased, new parishes were started, often initially being served from Upton until a parish priest was appointed.

It appears that as early as 1874, the Reverend John O'Callaghan said mass in Hoylake for the benefit of visitors during the summer.

After 5 years, in 1877, the Reverend O'Callaghan left Upton and was replaced by the Reverend D. Harrington, who only remained a few months until the Reverend Charles Coelenbier replaced him in 1878.

The Reverend Coelenbier arranged to use a room in a house in Hoylake so that Sunday mass could be celebrated all year. After morning mass at Upton, the good Father rode his black horse to Hoylake each week.

Father Coelenbier left Upton in 1882 to be replaced by Father A P O'Reilly

Father O'Reilly only remained for 2 years, and in 1885 a priest who has been described as 'the most remarkable of Upton priests' arrived. Father (later Canon) Wilfrid Dallow arrived in Upton in July 1885. In 1892 Our Lady's took over the responsibility of saying masses in Hoylake.

 

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