Kings Heath - St Dunstan

Kingsfield Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham B14

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A distinctive and successful design of 1966-8, built to replace an earlier church adjacent (extant and now in non-worship use). The church has high architectural and artistic significance for the dramatic and well-planned worship space, the architect’s careful detailing, use of good quality finishes, and for the integration of artistic elements into the overall design.  

From 1893, Catholics in Kings Heath attended Mass in the private chapel at the home of the Rev. Michael Dolan on Springfield Road. In order to provide more suitable and adequate premises for the growing community, Fr Dolan built an iron mission church on the corner of Westfield Road and Station Road in 1896.  

In 1924 the Rev. Francis Dwyer, parish priest since 1916, bought Kingsfield House, with its large garden, for the parish. After the Station Road church was hit by a bomb in the Second World War, the Kingsfield Road site was used to build a combined church and hall, in 1953, with the intention that in due course a permanent church would be built.

The present church was built in 1966-8 to seat 400, and cost £95,000. The job architect was Jack Edmondson, of the Desmond Williams Partnership. The internal plan was in the form of a large segment of a circle, to allow for greater active participation of the laity in worship, as prescribed in the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-5). Artworks and liturgical furnishings were provided by John Poole (sculpture), Hardman Studios (glass) and others. The earlier church became the parish hall in 1973, and is now used by the adjoining Catholic secondary school.

Diocese: Birmingham

Architect: Desmond Williams & Associates

Original Date: 1968

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Grade II