Leatherhead - Our Lady and St Peter

Garlands Rd, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 7EZ

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Our Lady and St Peter, Leatherhead, is both a fine building and exceptionally well endowed with stained glass, sculpture and other fittings.  This is a church that should be added to the government’s list of historic buildings. 

The church was begun in 1923 and opened in 1924.  The architect was Joseph Goldie (1882 –1953) who was still practising under the name of his father, Edward Goldie (1856-1921).  Edward’s father, George Goldie (1828-1887) was the founder of an important architectural dynasty, and he, his son and grandson were among the most influential Catholic architects of their day.

The church is built of Bargate stone with a tiled roof and linked, to the south, to a Priest’s House of similar date (1926).  The plan of the church is simple; there is a single cell nave and sanctuary and, on either side of the eastern end of the nave, there are two projecting chapels of equal size.  The style is Perpendicular Gothic Revival.  The baptistery, built in brick and attached to the south west end of the nave, is a later addition.

Although this is not a dramatic building it is a fine one.  The church and priest’s house are nicely grouped and make an important contribution to the townscape.  Inside there is a fine open timber roof and the relationship between roof, walls and windows works extremely well.  The type of the panelling used in the opus sectile reredos (almost certainly made by Powell’s of Whitefriars) matches that used round the walls of the chancel.  The carved altar and opus sectile reredos in the Sacred Heart chapel were added slightly later, in 1928.  Perhaps the most exceptional thing in the church is the set of stained glass windows made by the Arts and Crafts designer Paul Woodroffe.  In recent years two other windows have been added to the church.  These are the Jordan window in the Sacred Heart Chapel by Caroline and Tony Benyon, and the Millennium window, designed by Father Masterson and made by the Benyons.  Other treasures include the Stations of the Cross designed by Eric Gill and the early 19th century Polish or Russian icon set into the lectern.   

Diocese: Arundel and Brighton

Architect: Joseph Goldie

Original Date: 1923

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed