Gidea Park - Christ the Eternal High Priest

Brentwood Road, Gidea Park, Romford, Essex RM2

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A post-Vatican II centrally-planned church, built by Lanner of Wakefield to one of their standard designs.

A Mass centre was established in July 1963 with a resident pries and a temporary wooden church by George Fordham of O’Neill & Fordham, Chelmsford, opened on 24

November 1963. (This is now used as the parish hall.) The parish was erected in 1964. In 1969, the Catholic Building Review published a design for a new church by Archard & Partners, London, which remained unexecuted. By 1973, plans by Lanner Ltd had been accepted. The church was opened on 9 March 1974 and cost £41,000.

The church is octagonal on plan, with flat-roofed ancillary spaces comprising a narthex wrapping around the western three bays, and the sacristy and boiler room at the southeast. It is clad in brown brick laid in stretcher bond, with a tiled roof and a copper-clad fleche. The elevations have thin rectangular windows, apart from the three easternmost sides.

The interior frame consists of glue-laminated timber trusses, exposed below the boarded ceiling with several rows of timber purlins. The concrete floor is covered in carpet tiles and the walls are plastered. The narthex is divided from the main space by a glazed screen and has store rooms on either end, as well as the confessional at the northwest (accessible from the nave). The raised sanctuary occupies the three east sides. At the northwest is the tabernacle, set into the wall, with a timber canopy and a carved panel of the Last Supper. The altar is supported on brick pillars. The east wall has a crucifix of Christ the Eternal High Priest above a matching set of timber benches. Near the sacristy entrance at the south is a painting depicting the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. On the south wall is another modern painting on canvas of the Crucifixion. At the southwest is the Lady Chapel with a timber statue of St Mary on a plain timber pedestal. The Stations are framed engravings by Kevin Geary, 1975.

Diocese: Brentwood

Architect: Lanner Ltd of Wakefield

Original Date: 1974

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed