Worcester - Our Lady Queen of Peace

Bransford Road, St John’s, Worcester WR2

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A simple church of 1950, intended as ‘semi-permanent’, and with a vaguely Spanish-style brick gable at the front. The building was refurbished in the 1980s and a striking narthex added in 2003.

The parish owes its origin to the Rev. Bernard Grafton, the priest at Blackmore Park.  On his death in 1936 he left his estate to pay for the building of a new church. By 1948 the value of the estate had reached a sufficient sum to purchase a site in the St John’s area of Worcester and a new parish was formed the same year out of the parish of St George. After some difficulties over building licenses, a new church was built to the designs of G. R. Acton of Worcester (builders Messrs Spicer of Worcester). A contemporary description noted that it was of brick with a tiled roof and a shaped front gable in the Spanish style. The church was opened in June 1951. A presbytery was built next to the church in 1961 and a parish hall in 1963. In 1983 the church was refurbished under the direction of Frank Helm, architect (builders R. Williams-Hubbard & Sons of Worcester). A modern narthex with a tent-like canopy was added to the west front in 2003, from designs by DJD Architects of Worcester. The design received a commendation under the City of Worcester Award Scheme.

The church is a simple structure with a rectangular nave and short sanctuary under a broad pitched roof. The walls are faced with red brick, the roof is covered in tiles. The original west front with its ramped and stepped shaped gable is now largely hidden by the brick and glass narthex of 2003, with its arresting asymmetrical tent-like canopy. The side walls are enclosed but have round-headed windows. Internally the walls are plastered or boarded and painted. The roof is carried on prominent timber supports and the ceiling is part lined with timber. A wide rounded-headed arch in the east wall of the nave flanked by round-headed doorways leads to the short sanctuary, which has a triple east window inserted in the 1980s with stained glass presumably of that date.

Diocese: Birmingham

Architect: G. R. Acton; DJD Architects

Original Date: 1951

Conservation Area: No

Modifications: 2003

Listed Grade: Not listed