A Brief Introduction to the Diocese of Brentwood

A Brief Introduction to the Diocese of Brentwood

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Barking - St Mary and St Ethelburga

An unassuming modern building, part of a group with the nineteenth century presbytery and former school, which makes little external show but provides a generous and adaptable internal worship space. The building incorporates some features from the 1869 church by E. W. Pugin previously on the site.

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Barking - St Thomas More

A modern (1991) church by Gerald Murphy, attached to the modest former (1935) church/hall erected for the Pallottine Fathers. The new building echoes the external form of the earlier structure but internally is a strong modern space arranged on the diagonal with top lighting over the main axis from entrance to altar.

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Barkingside - St Augustine of Canterbury

A large church in the Early Christian style built in the early 1950s. The design is very similar to one used by the same architect at Hainault (qv). A 1979-80 reordering created a weekday chapel in the former chancel.  The  predecessor  church  of  1928  survives  alongside  as  the school hall.

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Basildon - St Basil the Great

The  principal  Roman  Catholic  church  in  Basildon  New  Town. A dignified  and  articulate  early  work  by  John  Newton  of  Burles  & Newton, who went on to design many churches in the Diocese of Brentwood.    The  1950s exterior  survives intact  and  despite  some  re- ordering much of the internal character also remains.

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Basildon - St Therese of Lisieux

A pleasant modern (1991) design in a traditional, almost vernacular, idiom. The octagonal church is the centrepiece of a complex with a presbytery and hall.

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Basildon - The Most Holy Trinity

A  modern  (1980)  centrally  planned  church  which  forms  part  of  a complex with the small presbytery and slightly earlier hall.  The church is currently (2011) being enlarged.

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Becontree - St Vincent

A modern brick church in a mixed Gothic style built to serve the northern part of the 1920s London County Council Becontree housing estate. The interior is dominated by the late 1980s re-ordering and the sanctuary with its elaborate 1940s reredos is unfortunately obscured by a screen inserted at this time.

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Benfleet - Holy Family

A simple but boldly-designed modern church of the mid-1970s. The addition of a large modern hall on one side has considerably altered the appearance of the original design.

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Billericay - The Most Holy Redeemer

A church in Lombard Romanesque style by Edward Goldie, built in two phases and extended by a west porch in 1981. Early benefactors were William Dunn of Lilystone Hall, and Edmund and Agnes Cole. Most of the historic furnishings have been removed, leaving only some stained glass, a memorial and the altar painting. The church is a local landmark.

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Braintree - Our Lady Queen of Peace

An elegant free Gothic design built just before the onset of the Second World War, largely funded by Dr Richard Courtauld of the local textile firm.  The  architect  in charge  was James O’Hanlon  Hughes, working with Geoffrey Webb as liturgical consultant. Sadly, Webb’s ‘liturgical altar’ and ciborium were removed in post-Vatican II reordering. 

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Brentwood - Cathedral Church of St Mary and St Helen

The cathedral church of the diocese, and the first Classical cathedral to be built in England since Wren’s St Paul’s. Built as a mission church in the 1860s from designs by Gilbert Blount, it was raised to cathedral status in 1917.

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Brightlingsea - St Monica

The church is a modern prefabricated structure, of no architectural or historical significance. However, the site is of local historical interest, being that of the former kitchen garden of Wivenhoe Hall, demolished in1927. The red brick side and rear boundary walls survive from this former use.

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Brightlingsea - St Sabina

A utilitarian design of the late 1950s.

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Burnham-on-Crouch - St Cuthbert

A modest red brick early twentieth century church, with a contemporary presbytery. The most notable of the fittings is the stained glass in the side windows.

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Canning Town - St Margaret and All Saints

A brick Gothic church of the 1870s which was substantially rebuilt in the late 1940s after war damage.

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Canning town - St Margaret's Chapel

An ambitious design of the inter-war years, built as a convent chapel and combining arts and crafts, basilican and Lombard Romanesque elements.  The  architect  was  W.  C.  Mangan,  a  prolific  designer  of Catholic churches. The exterior is well-detailed but unremarkable, while the interior is notable for the quality and richness of its marble finishes.

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Canvey Island - Our Lady of Canvey and the English Martyrs

A simple church of the  1930s, vaguely Dutch in  style, built from the designs of a local architect at a time of major expansion in the population of Canvey Island.

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Chadwell Heath - St Bede

A centrally-planned church, begun just before the start of the Second Vatican Council.  The predecessor building is now the parish hall.

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Chelmsford - The Blessed Sacrament

A simple but elegant concrete-framed and brick-faced church, built in the 1960s to serve a new housing estate. A proposed tower, which would have made the church more of an obvious landmark, was never built.

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