The process proceeded with immense speed and, in 1968, it was announced that the numbers in the parish had dwindled to such an extent it was no longer possible for the church to support the Jesuit community. It would be wrong to give the impression that, during this very difficult period, all was doom and gloom at SFX. Although, as already stated, the numbers were in serious decline, many parishioners worked tirelessly on behalf of their beautiful old church. Lack of money was a serious problem. The parish had gone into debt in 1958 to build Strada Hall, named in honour of Sancta Maria de la Strada, to whom St Ignatius had had a great devotion. The original plans had been for the hall to be considerably extended but financial problems mean that these plans were never realised. Nevertheless, Strada Hall was a considerable asset to SFX during the 1960s. It was a good place for parishioners to meet and, even today, many people have fond memories of the annual pantomimes which were stages in the hall.

Despite the face that money was tight, during the 60's brave efforts were made to make the old church look brighter and more comfortable. The rector, Fr Taunton, had modern tiles put down the aisles, the church was painted and rewired and the Sodality Chapel was given new blue linoleum. It was at this time that the font was moved from the Sodality Chapel into its present position under the organ loft. This was a consequence of new thinking in the Church in relation to baptism which had previously been conducted in a low profile manner in a relatively secluded part of the church. Not it was felt that the font should be in a prominent position near the door to symbolise the entry into the life through baptism

Ladies outing in the 1950's
Junior Girl's School Prefects

New housing was being built in the parish as part of the planners’ new vision to replace old Victorian housing with bright new 60s apartments and high rise flats. The number of people moving into the new housing was much lower than the number who left the high rise flats soon became very unpopular with those who lived there. The close-knit family atmosphere of SFX parish was rapidly disappearing. And even bigger obstacles were looming ahead.

To be fair to those who had responsibility for SFX in the 1970s, they faced an almost impossible task. Catholic churches in many inner city areas throughout Britain were faced with the same difficulties which were being experienced in Liverpool: large churches with ever shrinking congregations. This was a new problem for the modern Catholic Church in this country which, up until this point, had known nothing but expansion and large congregations. In Manchester and Edinburgh, Catholic parishes had simply disappeared as parishioners moved away in large numbers to new housing in other districts. Clearly, SFX was in danger of suffering the same fate.

Archbishop Warlock was against the closing of churches, believing that this caused great anxiety and depression amongst those who still lived in the community and who now felt they were being abandoned by the Catholic Church. But large churches with tiny congregations are also in themselves very depressing and very costly too.

The numbers of both parishioners and Jesuits at SFX continued to decline. The church and presbytery were in need of repair and renovation. But there was no money available. A luckless priest, taking a bath in the antiquated presbytery bathroom was singularly displeased when part of the ceiling dropped onto his head. Shortly after this, the Jesuits abandoned the presbytery for the safer confines of the Friary in Fox Street.