SFX church's 170th birthday

Saint Francis Xavier’s Church, affectionately known as SFX, has had a weekend of celebrations over the first Sunday of Advent, for its patron saint's feast day and 170th birthday.

SFX Church first opened its door on the 4h December 1848, the day after the patronal feast day, and has been staffed by the Society of Jesus ever since. The architect was JJ Scholes, who designed the nave in the early gothic decorated style using blue limestone for the slender pillars. The Sodality Chapel dedicated to the now closed Churches St Joseph and St Mary of the Angels was not built until 1888.

Over the past 170 years many beautiful additions have been made to the building. However, the main features have remained unaltered. SFX has been described as ‘the most complete and moving repository of Victorian Catholic art in the country’.

On the 3rd December, the community gathered after the Sunday morning mass to celebrate, with parish priest Fr Denis Blackledge SJ cutting the birthday cake.

The birthday cake

“I grew up in this area so have wonderful memories of SFX Church, old and new," said Kath Matchett, Friend of SFX Church. "It’s wonderful to know the church is still open daily offering a beautiful space for reflection on what was and what will be in the future. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Jesuit Community for their long service, commitment and witness here at Church and in the community for 170 years!”

The parish team would like to thank parishioners, the local churches, Faith Primary School, Notre Dame Catholic College, neighbourhood businesses, the Archdiocese of Liverpool, the Society of Jesus and friends of SFX Church Liverpool for their continued friendship and generosity in ensuring the church is still a wonderful place for worship. Group tours can be arranged with the possibility of afternoon tea. For more information and to book, please contact the Church Office on 0151 298 1911.