Ilford - St Mary and St Erconwald

Ilford Lane, Ilford, Essex IG1

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A functionally-designed combined church and hall of the early 1970s.

The parish was created in 1963 and was initially served from St Mary and St Ethelburga in Barking. The first church, which had opened in 1953, was in an old chapel which had become a factory. The new building erected on the site in 1971-72 was governed by several constraints, one of which was the noise from the constant heavy traffic in Ilford Lane and another, perhaps the most onerous, was a local authority requirement to provide a large amount of on-site parking. As a result, the new building was designed without windows on the street side and with the church at first floor level with a large rear yard for the parking. The parish was re-combined with that of St Mary and St Ethelburga in 2008.

St Mary’s is a composite building, with a parish hall on the ground floor and the church on the first floor. The church complex is a steel-framed construction in a simple modern style with load-bearing external walls of red brick laid in stretcher bond, small modern windows, now mostly renewed in UPVC, and felted roofs. The front to Ilford Lane has a row of small rectangular windows at ground floor level lighting the hall with a blind brick wall above. The centre projects slightly and rises to a shallow-pitched gable which marks the bottom of a mono-pitched roof. On the flat- roofed return elevation to Khartoum Road is the plain entrance door to the hall flanked by two small windows, an opening to the car-parking at the rear of the site and the sloping outline of the stair to the upper floor, which has a continuous row of small windows. From the rear the church looks like an industrial building, with the brick wall supported on a concrete frame, open at ground floor level to allow parking beneath.

The side stair leads to a first floor corridor and so to the church, which is a plain broad rectangular space with the steel frame exposed, painted brick walls and a ceiling lined in acoustic boarding. The space is lit from a clerestory and from the windows along the west side. There is no structural sanctuary or other subdivision of the internal space. There are no fittings of particular note. The marble faced altar and tabernacle date from 1979.

Diocese: Brentwood

Architect: David Rodney Burles of Burles, Newton & Partners

Original Date: 1971

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed