The first resident priest came to Batley in 1853 and for the next 17 years services were held in various places whilst the priests and people struggled to find the means to build a Church.
Although land was bought in 1861 it was not until late in 1869 that Father Thomas Bruno Rigby was able to commission a young Leeds architect, John Kelly, to design a church and this was at last opened by Archbishop, later Cardinal, Manning on December 15th. 1870.
Built in stone in the 13th. century style, it had a nave and chancel in one and a south porch entrance. The first high altar was of wood and came from the Waterton family chapel at Walton Hall near Wakefield. It would be interesting to know what became of this relic of recusant times
Later still in 1929 a new marble high altar was installed.
Stained glass, in memory of the Colbeck family, generous benefactors of the parish, had been added in 1890 and then in 1952 the four mosaics of the Annunciation, the Natitivy, the Assumption and the Coronation of Our Lady were placed in the sanctuary behind the high altar in memory of Father Peter McBride, a former parish priest.
Mgr. G Bradley