Chingford - Christ the King

Chingford Road, Chingford, London E4

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A modern church of 1996 on a semicircular plan with a separate Blessed Sacrament Chapel. The bell tower is a local landmark.

A Mass Centre was opened in 1929-31, served from Our Lady of Grace, Chingford. The first church opened in March 1932 and was served from St George’s, Walthamstow. The first resident priest arrived in 1953 and the following year the parish was canonically erected. The small 1930s church was replaced by the present structure in 1996. (Although in planning since the early 1990s, the project was on hold  as  the  rebuilding  of  Our  Lady  and  St  George,  Walthamstow,  (qv)  was prioritised.) It was opened and dedicated on 5 September 1997. The architects were Niall Scott & Nicola O’Flaherty of Scott Tallon Walker and the builders Messrs J.J. Evers Ltd. The cost was £450,000.

The  church  is  actually  facing  west.  This  description  will  use  the  conventional liturgical orientation.

In plan, the main body of the church is semicircular, with the sanctuary area set against the centre of the straight wall. At the northeast corner is a tall bell tower on a triangular plan. To the east of the sanctuary are ancillary spaces, including the parish office and the sacristy, as well as the hall with a separate entrance. To the west of the main auditorium is the triangular-plan Blessed Sacrament Chapel, linked to the church by the glazed lobby which contains the main entrance. The pyramidal, metal- clad roof of the Chapel has a cross on its apex.

Externally, the church is faced in red brick laid in stretcher bond with some dressings in concrete or reconstituted stone. Apart from the glazed lobby, the facades have only small windows. 

Inside the lobby is a statue of Christ the King. The small Blessed Sacrament Chapel has two windows with abstract stained glass (by Sarianne Durie, 1998) and the engraved metal tabernacle on a triangular timber stand. The interior walls of the church are of concrete blocks, adorned only with the metal relief Stations. The floor is of Yorkshire stone slabs. The laminated roof timbers are radiating outwards from the sanctuary. Directly in front of the entrance stand the font with its circular granite bowl and the metal candlestick. The curved benches are of English and American oak by Sindall Joinery. Set against the curved outer wall are a statue of Our Lady on the north and the organ on the south side. The shallow, top-lit sanctuary recess has white-plastered walls and a crucifix. The sanctuary furniture is a matching set of timber by Herbert Read of St Sidwell’s Artworks, Tiverton.

Diocese: Brentwood

Architect: Niall Scott & Nicola O’Flaherty of Scott Tallon Walker

Original Date: 1996

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed