Haywards Heath - St Paul

Hazelgrove Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 3PQ

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St Paul’s church is impressive but a little bleak.  The scale impresses and the plan is interesting in maximising the openness of the interior.  It is reminiscent of the churches of Temple Moore.  Unlike other diocese (particularly Mangan’s home diocese of Lancaster) there are few Byzantine style churches in the Arundel & Brighton diocese.  

The foundation stone was laid on 15th October 1928.  Wilfrid C Mangan was an architect based in Preston, Lancashire, who designed a large number of Roman Catholic churches, usually in a round-arched Byzantine or Romanesque style.  In the Arundel & Brighton diocese Mangan also designed the east end at Our Lady of Sorrows, Bognor Regis (1955) and Holy Redeemer, Hollington (1934).  St Paul’s is a substantial brick building in a Byzantine or Early Christian style.  Nave, with two gabled projections creating additional breadth on the inside, short transepts, an octagonal southwest baptistery and sanctuary, also with gabled projections to north and south.  Plans for a northwest campanile were not implemented.  The land falls away to the southwest making the west front all the more impressive with its full height and deeply recessed round arch.  Also impressive are the high level lunette windows and the soaring stepped lancets to the transepts.  Inside the church is lofty and spacious.  A mixture of exposed brick and plastered walls.  Barrel vaulted throughout, with transverse barrel vaults over the aisles.  The aisles generally are suppressed and open to the nave.  The Architects’ Journal of the time stated ‘although St Paul’s Church, Haywards Heath, Sussex..conforms fully with the conventional requirements of a modern Catholic church, the treatment breaks away in many respects from generally accepted forms….The outstanding feature of the church is its brickwork, the design calling for a high standard of craftsmanship in this respect.  Sussex purple stocks have been used for the deep basecourse, which runs round the whole of the building, and above this the walls are faced with multicoloured, hand-made, sand-faced bricks, set in Flemish bond with wide joints of cream-coloured mortar, and very freely relieved with cherry-red arches and panels of small pattern brickwork in contrasting shades and textures, whilst under the gable and elsewhere verges and bands of semicircular tiles in a bold pattern adds further relief to the surfaces.  The roof is fairly high-pitched and covered in Lombardic sand-faced Roman pattern tiles.’ The article goes on to mention the use of light-coloured marble and dark-veined Sicilian marble, the floors of polished oak blocks, marble terrazzo tiles and coloured marbles.

Diocese: Arundel and Brighton

Architect: Wilfrid C Mangan

Original Date: 1930

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed