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Saint Charles Church

The school was a Church school when originally conceived, as are all the schools in Rishton, the first one being held in a house near to Harwood Road, on High Street, being called the Hermitage. This building was replaced by the Petres of the Dunkenhalgh for its current location on Hermitage Street,  before a new Church and school was opened on Knowles Street, in 1896.

The Church was opened in 1938 as an extension, and a separate building, to the school.

In 1892 the new Church school was dedicated to Saint Charles Borromeo, even though the Church hadn't been built! The Hermitage would still be used for the next four years.

Charles Borromeo was born in a castle on the shores of Lake Maggiore, in Northern Italy in 1538. He was the son of a rich Italian nobleman, who owned the castle.

Charles was a relative of Pope Paul IV (who later made him secretary of State at the age of 21). He was ordained a priest at the age of 21. He was promptly made a bishop, and in the following year, he was appointed Archbishop of Milan.

He was a holy and hard working man, undertaking his tasks with thoroughness and devotion, and although rich due to his ancestry, he gave most of this away to the poor.

He committed many acts of kindness during his time, nursing through famines and sickness when all around deserted the needy.

He was to train many Priests in Rome as well, Edmund Campion and Father Edward Rishton, to name but two. Edward Rishton came from the Dunkenhalgh, and championed the religious cause with Father Edmund in this district on his return to the Country.

Charles Borromeo set about making many reforms in Italy, but not all were welcomed, one religious order hiring an assassin to murder him, but in this attack he was only slightly wounded. He remained in the main, popular with people, and his work, prayers, and holiness were an example to Priest and people around the world.

He died at the age of 46, in 1584, and was buried in the Cathedral in Milan.

During the period 1900 - 1920, the school had to close 6 times due to infectious diseases. These included measles, whooping cough, or influenza.

On the 14th December 1939, the Rishton Urban District Council resolved that in view of the fact that no arrangements could be with Mr. Kehoe regarding the use of the Astoria Skating rink at 7/6 per evening that in future the Physical Training Class should be held at Saint Charles School.

During the start of the war the school took in evacuated children from Saint Margaret Mary's school at New Moston in Manchester.

In 1991, the school had new buildings and extensions completed. A plaque was unveiled in the evening by Thomas Moore, who was the oldest known past pupil. The architects for this new extension were the Cassidy and Ashton Partnership, from Preston, in the person of Mr. Michael Hartley, assisted by Mr. Neil Aaron. It was constructed by Walter Carefoot and Sons Limited, of Longridge.

Year 2000 statistics provided by the Department of Education are as follows;

St Charles' RC School (Voluntary Aided, 4-11 years of age)

Knowles Street, Rishton, Blackburn, BB1 4HT

Year                     2000       1999      1998

Total pupils            215

English                   76%       78%        74%

Maths                     79%       78%        68%

Science                  82%       72%        68%

References

Council Minutes 1939 - 40