Warrington - St Oswald, King and Martyr

Padgate lane, Warrington WA1

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Large church built in 1964 on a T-plan in a stripped down round-arched style. Unlike other designs from L.A.G. Prichard & Sons being built at the same time (e.g. St Jude, Wigan), the design is pedestrian and the furnishings unremarkable.

A simple brick church was first built on the site to the designs of F. Pritchard in 1929, paralleling a growth in housing in the area. The old church has now become part of the school. A new and larger church was built in 1964 to provide for a growing number of worshipers. The architects were the Liverpool firm of L.A.G. Prichard and Sons, who were responsible for many new Catholic churches in the city’s suburbs throughout the middle decades of the twentieth century.

The church has a cruciform plan with gable ends and a campanile to the northwest corner. Large in size, it is built of brick around a steel frame and has pitched roofs of grey pantiles. The gables and walls are edged with concrete slabs; the steel members are expressed in brick and topped with concrete blocks. The nave has four bays to each side before the crossing, three have round-headed windows which each feature a cross. The north, west and south facades have high and large round windows, with cross-shaped intersections. The west front entrance is framed with a curved protruding brick course. Set inside is concrete textured panel and below, a triple set of  round-headed  windows.  Five  mosaic  panels  are  located  above  the  main  door, which is reached by three steps.

The interior is lofty and unobstructed. The ceiling is covered with narrow wooden panelling. The walls are plainly plastered and painted in pale yellow or white. The lower level of the church is covered with vertical wood panels around the south, west and north walls. There is a simple wooded gallery at the west end, enclosed with glass partitions beneath to form the narthex. The south bay contains the confessional and vestry. The floor is grey-green linoleum. The glass is clear, except for that of the north chapel which has three panels of various shades of blue and the round windows, which  are  filled  with  contemporary  multi-coloured  glass.  The  east  wall  of  the sanctuary is blind, the altar set on raised steps and within a recessed rectangular niche, which is painted orange. A grey marble communion rail and step crosses the width of the sanctuary and links the two side altars; to the left is a matching font. The sanctuary has some early-20th century furniture taken from the previous church. The remainder of the furniture is contemporary.

Diocese: Liverpool

Architect: L. A. G. Prichard

Original Date: 1964

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed