A NEW war memorial has been created at a Westhoughton church using materials rescued from another nearby place of worship.

Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Swinton was one of more than 20 Catholic churches across Greater Manchester to close amid a radical shake up of the region’s diocese three years ago.

Salford Diocese made the decision for the major reorganisation in light of a shortage of priests and fewer people attending their services churches.

St Mary’s was opened in December 1964 after the original building was damaged during the Blitz and had to be pulled down.

Following its closure, the disused church has stood derelict and last month a teenager was seriously injured after he fell through its roof.

The boy is believed to have plunged around 40ft, with firefighters having to use a ram to break down the door and reach him.

Work is now ongoing to save a number of the church’s original features including its marble alter.

A large slab of marble from the church has now been used to create a war memorial at Sacred Heart Church on Lord Street in Westhoughton.

A spokesperson for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salford, said: “Sacred Heart Church in Westhoughton has recently been enhanced by installing a number of marble items, following the closure of St Mary’s Church in Swinton.

“Holy water stoops and consecration crosses have been transferred there and a slab of marble from St Mary’s has been used to create a fitting memorial for those who have given their lives in warfare.”

The memorial remembers those who lost their lives in both the Great War 1914-18 and the Second World War 1939-45 as well as other subsequent conflicts. It also features lines from Laurence Binyon’s poem, For the Fallen.

The spokesperson added: “The very substantial war memorial that was in St Mary’s has been moved to the Chapel in Swinton Cemetery, keeping it close to the community whose families are represented on it.”