Kings Norton - St Paul

Sisefield Road, Kings Norton, Birmingham B38

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A functional church of the 1970s, with an attractive, light-filled interior of laminated timber trusses.

The parish was formed to serve a post-war housing estate developed on the south side of the city, on the edge of Kings Norton. It was initially served in the 1960s from
St Joseph and St Helen, when Mass was first said in the Kings Norton Secondary Modern School. St Paul’s was established as a separate parish in 1966 and designs prepared for a church prepared by Brian A. Rush & Associates. However this scheme was abandoned and a cheaper design built by Lanner of Wakefield in 1978. The church was consecrated in 1990. 

The church is a compact single volume building built with nave and sanctuary under one roof.  The sanctuary is to the west; in this description liturgical compass points will be used, with the sanctuary referred to as the east end. The building is faced in a drag-wire pale orange brick, laid in stretcher bond. The concrete tiled roof has boxed eaves, barge boards and plastic rainwater goods. The west end faces the road, with central hardwood and glazed double doors and screen, sheltered by a flat canopy on steel posts. Above this is a large full-height timber-framed window rising to the roof apex. On the brick wall to the right of the window is a crucifix. The south wall facing the car park has a row of seven vertical full-height windows, and a flat-roofed former sacristy to the right. The north side has a flat-roofed chapel towards the east end and similar full-height windows. The east wall of the sanctuary is blind, but with blocked windows flanking a pair of buttresses. The contemporary presbytery is on the northeast side of the church, connected to it by a flat-roofed brick link.

The well-lit and lofty interior has a six-bay volume. In the west bay, the narthex is separated from the nave by a plain buff brick wall with glazed doors and screen. The gallery over the narthex has a plain brick parapet topped with a timber rail. The interior walls of the nave are faced in a fair-faced buff brick. The steep roof is on laminated timber trusses, with exposed purlins and the soffit lined with white acoustic panels; the east and west bays have diagonal bracing between purlins. The floor is laid with linoleum tiles, with hardwood pews. The sanctuary in the east bay has a raised, carpeted floor with two steps up from the floor of the nave. Walls to the sanctuary are plain plastered, with a fair-faced pointed panel behind the altar. Other fittings include plain stone or concrete modern altars in the sanctuary and north side chapel, a hardwood ambo and lectern.  In the west window is a cross in red stained glass, defined by the timber glazing bars.

Diocese: Birmingham

Architect: Lanner of Wakefield

Original Date: 1978

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed