Our Patron Saint
St Ambrose Barlow is the patron saint of our school. All pupils have an opportunity to visit Wardley Hall (the Bishop of Salford's residence) to see the skull of St Ambrose Barlow and learn about his connection with the house. All pupils study his life, legacy and impact when in year 7 as one of their first topics. Here is a short summary of his life, written by one of our pupils.
Ambrose Barlow was born in Manchester in 1585. He was the fourth son of Alexander Barlow and his wife Mary. The Barlows were unwilling converts when the Catholic Church was outlawed. Ambrose's grandfather died when he was imprisoned for being Catholic. Ambrose was actually baptised in a Protestant church but he reverted to Catholicism when he was 22 years old.
During his adult years, Ambrose travelled to France to become a priest (it was too dangerous in England). After he was ordained (officially made a priest) he came home and was a priest for the Catholics of the Manchester area. He had to be very careful not to be caught by the Protestant authorities as being a Catholic priest wasn't allowed. He would have been killed!
Ambrose was arrested several times and even went to prison once or twice. Ambrose knew exactly what would happen to him. The final time he was imprisoned, he told his fellow prisoners that he was scared of a painful death but more scared of denying his Catholic Faith. He was killed on the 10th September 1641; he was only 56. He was hung, drawn and quartered. His body was boiled in oil and his head placed on a spike. It would have been displayed for all the world to see somewhere near where Selfridges is today (near Manchester Cathedral).
The Pope made Ambrose Barlow a saint (canonised) years later. The top part of his skull is kept as a relic at Wardley Hall (just opposite our school and where the Bishop of Salford lives). St Ambrose Barlow gave his life for his Faith in God and if someone does this they are called a martyr.
By Sam, year 7