Harold Hill - St Dominic

Straight Road, Harold Hill, Romford, Essex RM3

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A modern church of conventional plan. Due to the absence of an aisle arcade, the sanctuary is visible to everyone. Of particular note among the furnishings is the west window.

The Mass centre with a resident priest was established in September 1954. The foundation stone was laid on 30 July 1955 and the church was opened by Bishop Wall on 15 August the following year. The architect was John Newton of Burles & Newton of Southend-on-Sea. The contractors were Messrs J. Leary & Sons of Stratford. The building cost £24,000, mostly covered by a substantial anonymous donation which was given on condition that the church was dedicated to St Dominic. The church was re-ordered in 1989.

The church is actually facing west. This description follows conventional liturgical orientation.

The church is a steel framed building with brick walls in Flemish bond, a copper pitched roof and metal windows. The clerestory walls are hung with cedar shingles. The plan is longitudinal, of an aisled nave with a small bell tower at the northwest. The west front has a five-light segmentally-headed window with slate panels below. On either side of the west doors are patterns of ten squares recessed in the brickwork. The pattern on the north side is filled with coloured glass, lighting what is now a confessional; that to the south has been filled in.

Internally, the narthex gives access to the repository and the stair up to the gallery with its pipe organ. The west window is filled with a large stained glass window depicting St Dominic and scenes from his life. The aisles have four triangular-plan bay windows with a row of segmental clerestory windows above. The panelled ceiling is pitched, with ribs to each clerestory bay. The flat-roofed aisles have no supports as the clerestory is supported on longitudinal lattice trusses - affording an unobstructed view of the sanctuary. At the northeast are statues to the Sacred Heart and St Theresa, as well as the hexagonal font and the brass paschal candle stand. A corridor at the northeast leads to a meeting room at the east and the presbytery.

The sanctuary, lit by two slim windows on either side, has furnishings of white marble, with the tabernacle set against the east wall, below a large crucifix. On the north side of the sanctuary is the foundation stone, with a piscina opposite. At the southeast are the sacristy and the Lady Chapel with a timber statue of the Madonna and Child on a black marble pedestal. The Stations are large casts framed in timber.

Diocese: Brentwood

Architect: John Newton of Burles & Newton

Original Date: 1955

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed