Hornchurch - English Martyrs

Alma Avenue, Hornchurch, Essex RM12

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A modest church of 1954-55 with stained glass by Goddard & Gibbs of 1981.

The church was built in 1954-55 by David Rodney Burles of Burles, Newton & Partners of Southend-on-Sea. The builders were Messrs HW Wilson Ltd of South Ockendon. Together with the contemporary presbytery, the cost of the buildings was £11,500. The church was opened on 26 June 1955; the parish was established in the following month. In 1981 several stained glass windows by Goddard & Gibbs were installed. In the late 1990s the church was reordered. In 2005, the church was solemnly blessed.

The church is built in brick laid in Flemish bond, with creased tiles in the lintels. The pitched roof is covered in pantiles and has two dormers at the east. The plan is longitudinal, with a sacristy at the northeast and a Lady Chapel at the southeast. Beside the entrance at the southwest is a slim bellcote incorporating a chimney. The niche beside the entrance holds a statue of the Virgin and Child.

Opposite the entrance porch are the gallery stairs with confessional below. On the gallery front hangs a crucifix of Christ the Eternal High Priest. The nave has an elliptical plastered ceiling. The three groups of three windows each on the north side have abstract stained glass in green and yellow tones. The south side has two groups of four windows, with blue and purple colours and the inscriptions ‘St Thomas More’ and ‘St John Fisher’. The stained glass windows were installed in 1981 by Goddard & Gibbs. The two dormer windows, with further abstract stained glass, are not symmetrical, with that on the north side being placed further east.

The chancel is narrower than the nave, with stained glass on a Creation theme in the lateral windows. Ambo and altar are of stone and presumably date from the 1990s reordering. On either side are statues of St Thomas More and St John Fisher. To the south of the sanctuary is the painted octagonal stone font. Three arches lead into the Blessed Sacrament chapel. This used to be the Lady Chapel, and the stained glass window features Marian symbols. The tabernacle stands on a simple canopied stand. There are also statues of the Virgin and the Child and St Joseph.

Diocese: Brentwood

Architect: David Rodney Burles of Burles, Newton & Partners

Original Date: 1954

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed