Custom House - St Anne

Berwick Road, Custom House, London E16

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A modern (1980s) and functional octagonal church built on the site of an earlier church and entered through the porch doorway of the earlier building.

The Mission was founded in 1895. The first church was a building in the Decorated Gothic style, built in 1899 from designs by Robert Leabon Curtis.  The building was damaged by bombing in the 1940s.   A new presbytery was built to the west of the church in 1953 and the church itself was extended by one bay at the west end in 1966 under the direction of the architects Burles & Newton (CBR 1966).  The church was largely demolished in 1978 because of structural problems, but the arch fronting Berwick Road was retained and incorporated in the new church, designed by Francis Weal of the Weal & Pozzoni Partnership.

St Anne’s is a modern church, economically built, on the site of the earlier church. The building is octagonal on plan and is linked to the earlier (1950s) brick presbytery by a two-storey complex containing a generous lobby, sacristies and a parish room, with a forecourt entered through a brick and stone Gothic archway preserved from the earlier church.  The arch was originally the street front of a porch added to the Victorian church in 1966 by Burles & Newton. The church has load-bearing walls of yellow London stock brick and a tent-roof with coverings of Eternit artificial slates and a glazed lantern. The walls are windowless but the roof has a wide overhang which conceals a continuous strip clerestory at the wall-head.

The interior is simply fitted, with a paved stone floor, plain plastered walls and a tubular  steel  roof  with  boarded  underside.  The  roof  is  set  eccentrically  to  the octagonal plan to bring the lantern above the altar which is raised two steps above the church floor level and backed by a reredos of plain brickwork, with a tabernacle and candlesticks presumably from the earlier church. The fittings include an altar with stone mensa carried on a timber boat.

Diocese: Brentwood

Architect: Weal & Pozzoni Partnership

Original Date: 1981

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed