Lower Gornal - St Peter and the English Martyrs

Temple Street, Lower Gornal, West Midlands DY3

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A functional design of the late 1960s incorporating slab in resin glass by the Hardman firm. 

In 1928 a site was acquired in Lower Gornal and a wooden and asbestos chapel of ease built. This became too small as the local population grew after the Second World War. The present church and presbytery were begun in July 1966 and were completed in October 1967, designed by Henry J. Harper of Birmingham (in association with Blantern Radford). The builders were H. W. Malley of Birmingham. It cost £42,000 and was planned to accommodate about 350 people. 

The body of the church is square and built of buff brick. At the entrance is a large 35ft concrete cross which protrudes through a cantilevered canopy extended from the timber and glass porch. As best shown in the architects’ model, the exterior is divided into five bays. These are divided by pairs of brick strips which contain windows. The sanctuary is top-lit.

The interior is brick-faced and originally was a single space. It has now been subdivided by the creation of a glazed-in social space at the back of the church (the Agape Room). The whole area is covered (apart from the sanctuary lighting void) by a rather low, plain plaster ceiling. Three strips of glazing on the sanctuary wall have dalle de verre stained glass by Patrick Feeney of Hardman, depicting the keys of St Peter and the crown and palm of the martyrs. The statues of Our Lady and St Joseph the Worker and the Stations of the Cross are of carved wood and Italian in origin. 

Diocese: Birmingham

Architect: Henry J. Harper

Original Date: 1967

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed