Reigate - The Holy Family

Yorke Road, Reigate, Surrey RH2 9HF.

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The Holy Family, Reigate, is a worthy but slightly dour building.  The design is old fashioned for its date.  Nonetheless the tower and spire have a certain grandeur, the building is well crafted, and the church with its walled setting makes an important contribution to the street.

The architect of this church, Edward John Walters, was the son of the better known F A Walters.  He was articled to his father c.1898, later becoming his assistant until 1915 when he joined the army.  After the war, he was made a partner and, from 1924, the firm practised as F A Walters and Son.  According to the compiler of F A Walter’s Biographical File in the RIBA “After Edward joined his father as a partner the output [of the firm] became even more traditional and archaeological in outlook.”  In 1924 F A Walters’ eyes began to fail and, from 1928 onwards, Edward was responsible for all the work carried out by the firm.  As a designer he is not thought to have been very creative, more of a borrower of past styles than an innovator.

The foundation stone of the Holy Family was laid in March 1938 and the church was opened in January 1939.  It is built in red brick with stone dressings and tiled roofs.  The most striking feature externally is the tower and copper-covered pyramidal spire.  The style is Early English Gothic Revival.  The building makes an important contribution to the street in which it stands.

The church is rather dark inside.  The walls are brick, the arcades stone and it has an open timber roof.  The materials are handled well (though the timbers of the roof are rather mean) but the overall effect is somewhat dull.  There are no fittings of special interest.

Diocese: Arundel and Brighton

Architect: E J Walters

Original Date: 1938

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed