|The Former Corpus
Christi Basilica - Miles Platting
The former Corpus Christi Basilica on Varley Street in Miles Platting was once home to the Norbertines, a religious order founded by Father Norbert on Christmas Day in 1121. The Norberts arrived in Manchester in 1889 and set up home at the Oldham Road Flint Glass Works on Varley Street. They commissioned Ernest Gunson to design Corpus Christi that was constructed between 1905 and 1906. Pevsner describes the building as, "Large, of red brick with pale sandstone dressings, in the Italian Romanesque style." Inside it featured a, "Tunnel-vaulted aisle with a series of chapels in low arches."
The image below is shown here with the permission of Mike Berrell. It comes from the Churches of Britain & Ireland Website
An article on the BBC web site, dated April 27, 2007, was entitled "Basilica closes after 118 years". It went on to say that, "A basilica in Manchester is to close because it will cost the religious order living there too much to repair. The Prior, Fr Hugh says the Corpus Christi Basilica in Miles Platting has been 'horrifically neglected' and will cost millions to renovate. As a result, the nine priests and brothers from the Norbertine community are being forced to move. The order has lived in the area for 118 years A final mass was held at the Varley Street basilica on Friday evening." The Norberts first moved to St. Chad’s Church in the Cheetham area of Manchester (see below). The community transferred to Chelmsford in 2008.
After the Norberts left the building was boarded up and sat vacant.
The image above is shown with the permission of Mike Berrell
In March of 2011, when these images were taken, the building has signs on it for, "USMANIA". USMANIA is a banqueting company that offers the former church as a unique venue for events such as wedding banquets.