Molesey - St Barnabas

Vine Road, Molesey, Surrey KT8 9LF.

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St Barnabas, Molesey, is an attractive church both inside and out.  It stands on a corner site and, in consequence, makes an important contribution to the conservation area.  But there is nothing unusual in its design, nothing to set it apart from many other red brick Romanesque churches built in the 1930s.  

In 1931 St Barnabas’ Church replaced the iron church previously used by the parish.  It was designed by Wilfred Clarence Mangan, one of nine Roman Catholic churches built in the South of England between 1926 and 1936.  All these churches were written up in the contemporary architectural press, most frequently in Brick Builder.  It seems that Mangan specialized in brick construction, and the church at Molesey is no exception.  The walls are of variegated red brick, the roofs covered with Roman tiles and the style is neo-Romanesque. 

At Molesey the nave and sanctuary are united under one roof, there are aisle passages to either side of the nave, and a gallery and narthex at the west end of the building.  The interior has an open timber roof, white plastered walls and an exposed brick arcade supported by white plastered piers.  There is a large framed sculpture of Christ on the Cross mounted on the east wall of the sanctuary.

This is a plain but attractive church, and one that adds character to the conservation area.  No additions have been made to the exterior of the building and, apart from the re-ordering of the sanctuary, the interior remains largely unchanged.

Diocese: Arundel and Brighton

Architect: Wifred C Mangan of Preston

Original Date: 1931

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not listed