Hatfield Broad Oak - Our Lady of Lourdes

High Street, Hatfield Broad Oak, Bishop’s Stortford CM2

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A simple Congregational chapel of the 1860s, converted to Catholic use in the 1950s.

There was a Mass Centre in Hatfield Broad Oak from 1907 to 1913, served from Bishop’s Stortford. Later the village was served by the Diocesan Travelling Mission. In 1952 Canon F. Dobson, Travelling Missioner, negotiated the purchase for £300 of a former Congregational chapel in the High Street. This had been built in 1868 but by 1952  had  been  superseded  by  a  new  chapel  at  Hatfield  Heath.  The  church  was refurnished and repaired, and opened for Catholic use on 15 June 1952. It is served from Great Dunmow.

The church is orientated north-south, but this description follows conventional liturgical orientation, i.e. as if the altar faced east.

Built of stock brick with red brick banding, blue and red brick window dressings and a modern concrete tile roof. The style is a simple version of Perpendicular Gothic. The chief decorative detail is reserved for the entrance porch, which has a Perp stone arch over the door head with spandrels carved with oak leaves and a hoodmould. The porch gable has stone kneelers and a carved datestone (1868 set into a quatrefoil) with hoodmould over. There is a narrow, single light window on either side of the porch; these and the wider mullion and transom windows on the north elevation have all  been  replaced in UPVC. The  three  bays  of this  side  elevation  are  marked  by buttresses. The south elevation is behind a plain and rendered wall which gives onto the front garden of the adjoining property.

The interior is a single space, with sacristies and WCs giving off the south side, which has been opened up in the nave to form an ‘aisle’.  The internal walls are plastered and painted; there is a scissor-braced roof supported on stone corbels, with exposed purlins  and  the  underside  of  the  roof  lined  with  painted  boarding.  The  stone mullioned east window is of three lights, with stained glass (Virgin and Child flanked by two saints). The timber altar, president’s chair and pews are presumably imported.

Diocese: Brentwood

Original Date: 1868

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed