Four Oaks - Sacred Heart

Lichfield Road, Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham B74

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A modern church by Cyril Horsley with bold brick outlines, built on an open suburban site. The chief internal feature of note is a large bronze resin sculpture by Faith Tolkien.

A chapel of ease to Holy Trinity, Sutton Coldfield was built in 1953 and a new parish erected in 1961 to serve the fast-growing population of northern Sutton Coldfield.  The present church was built in 1986 from designs by Cyril Horsley of Stafford, and was grafted onto the earlier building, which now serves as a parish hall.

The church is in a simple, even austere, modern style. The external walls are of red brick laid in stretcher bond with roof coverings of brown Roman tiles. The plan is a quadrilateral, tapering slightly towards the east. The external walls are of sheer brickwork with no apparent windows, although a tower-like projection on the east wall has a side light to the sanctuary. The roof has two slopes of different pitch separated by a glazed west-facing upstand.  The lower western roof slope joins a single-storey link to the old church, and the link itself provides the main entrance to the building through a vestibule which is also the baptistery.

The baptistery vestibule opens into the main body of the church through a wide opening with two columns with block capitals. The walls are of bare-faced brick. The steelwork of the roof is exposed below a wooden slatted ceiling. Almost all the light in the building comes from the strip clerestory between the east and west roof slopes.  The sanctuary is raised on stone steps and has a dramatic resin-bronze sculpture by Faith Tolkien across the wall behind showing the Last Supper, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. To the right of the altar is a side-lit tabernacle recess.

Diocese: Birmingham

Architect: Cyril Horsley of Stafford

Original Date: 1986

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed