New Cross, Wolverhampton - St Patrick

Wolverhampton Road, New Cross, Wolverhampton WV10

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A modern design, externally plain, but with a large square open worship space oversailed by a dramatic suspended ceiling. The church incorporates stained glass from the predecessor church designed by
E. W. Pugin, as well as much new glass. 

St Patrick’s had its origins in the mid-nineteenth century when many Irish, escaping the Great Famine, settled in an area off Stafford Street. In 1848 an area of land was purchased for £198 in Little’s Lane in order to build a school-cum-Mass centre. The first St Patrick’s church was built on the site in 1865-7, from designs by E. W. Pugin. The builder was George Heavenham of Wolverhampton. In 1910 improvements were made to it with the introduction of Irish and Italian marble altars and flooring to the sanctuary.

In the 1950s the area changed radically due to housing clearance; this and the building of an inner ring road sealed the fate of the old church. A new site was chosen and the parish church relocated to near New Cross Hospital. It was built in 1970 and was opened on 17 January 1971. The Pugin church was demolished. The architect for the new church was Andrew Moody and the main contractor Henry Willcock & Co. of Wolverhampton.

The church is steel framed, faced with loadbearing brown brick. Copper sheeting covers the roofs. The main body is a capacious square with a narthex (including a repository) running across the width of the building. There are two side chapels. The side windows are tall rectangles and over the entrance is a clerestory band.

The interior side walls are plastered; those at the sanctuary and entrance ends have bare brown brick. The main space is largely covered by a suspended folded plaster ceiling, intended to be a modern evocation of a baldacchino, and perhaps inspired by similar designs by Desmond Williams & Associates. Victorian stained glass windows in the left-hand chapel and the three small lights in the sanctuary rear wall were brought from the old church and were restored before installation here. The glass over the entrance is abstract work by Bronwen Gordon of Abbots Bromley and represents the Creation, with a red cross in the centre symbolising redemption. The five tall lights on the right-hand side were installed in 2011 and are the work of Deb Lowe; they show emblems associated with the life of St Patrick. The organ was brought from the old church. New furnishings were by Vanpoulles Ltd, London. 

Diocese: Birmingham

Architect: Andrew Moody of Wolverhampton

Original Date: 1971

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed