Abbots Bromley - Sacred Heart

Church Lane, Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire WS15

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An architecturally modest chapel of some historical interest, located at the heart of the medieval town and conservation area. The plaster vaulted interior has a simple charm.

A church was built at some point between 1836 and 1841 in the garden of Edward Pyatt, a carpenter. It was a monthly Mass centre served from Woodlane, Yoxall. By 1889 it was in very poor condition and in 1891 it closed and was sold.  Efforts to re-establish a church came to nothing until money was given towards the upkeep of a priest. A mission was subsequently opened in a room in the Goat’s Head Inn in 1915. Later in the same year the old church and five neighbouring cottages were bought for renovation as a church, undertaken by Mr J. Chell of Uttoxeter, a builder. One of the cottages was demolished to give better access to the site, and two others were converted to serve as a presbytery, since demolished and replaced. The church was opened in August of that year, when it was dedicated to St Alban.

The building was altered during the interwar years with the addition of a sacristy and confessional and in 1925 the sanctuary was enlarged, a new sacristy built, and a marble altar installed. The light fittings may also date from this time. From that time it was known as Sacred Heart. In 1936 the porch was added. The east window was installed in 1955, and Stations of the Cross were given in memory of Cyril Bamford. In 1987 the building was renovated and the altar brought forward in accordance with the reformed liturgy. At this or an earlier date the marble altar was replaced.

All orientations given are liturgical. The building is a rectangle of brick, rendered on the south side, with a west porch, south chapel (now used for additional seating) and adjacent shallow confessional, and southeast sacristy. The east end is pebbledashed, and the roof tiled. The north side is of exposed brick, with lancets with Y-tracery, each one surmounted by a brick cross in relief. The east window is round-arched, and those on the south side match those on the north side. The porch leads to an inner doorway with a decorative overlight. The interior retains the shallow vaulted plaster ceiling with embattled cornice shown in early photographs), and is of simple charm. The altar is of carved wood with traceried panels and a central Crucifixion. It is probably of mid-twentieth century date. The stained glass east window showing Christ is by Hardman (1955). The benches are of pitch pine, and the light fittings of distinctive interwar character.

Diocese: Birmingham

Architect: Mr J. Chell (builder)

Original Date: 1840

Conservation Area: Yes

Modifications: 1915

Listed Grade: Not listed