Oldbury - St Francis Xavier

Simpson Street, Oldbury, Sandwell B69

title= title=

A brick-built church of the mid-1960s, of modern construction. It is built to a traditional longitudinal plan, but was designed from the outset with a forward altar, to allow Mass to be said with the priest facing the people. The nave was never completed to the original plan.

A school building with a Gothic Revival upper church was built on Pinfold Street, Oldbury in 1865, served from St Michael, West Bromwich.

The present church was built a hundred years later, after the old building had become structurally unsafe, and was blessed on 15 August 1965. It was intended to be built in two phases, the first of which encompassed the east (ritual) end (sacristies, sanctuary, side chapel and part of the nave), providing seats for about 160 people. The church was designed from the outset with a forward altar, to allow Mass to be said with the priest facing the people, in line with the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, then concluding. The second phase was never undertaken, so that the west wall is a ‘temporary’ one of brick and clad externally with steel and asbestos sheeting (Figure 2 shows four clerestory windows on the nave, whereas there are only three). Instead, a smaller west end addition was built in 2001, housing a porch, meeting room and WCs. 

The church was consecrated by Archbishop Longley on 23 September 2012.

Diocese: Birmingham

Architect: Louis Hayes of S. N. Cooke & Partners of Birmingham

Original Date: 1965

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed