Churchdown - Our Lady of Succour

Cheltenham Road East, Churchdown, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, GL3

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A functional red brick church of the 1990s, fit for purpose but not of architectural significance. Furnishings of note include several made at Prinknash Abbey.

From the Second World War Mass was said variously in a public house, a skittle alley and then in the hall of a club. The latter was badly damaged by fire, when the altar and other furnishings which had come from the 1830 chapel of the Canning family at Hartpury House were lost, and services migrated to a canteen. About 1953 Sandycroft Farm on the main Cheltenham-Gloucester road was purchased and a barn adapted and extended to serve as a church at an estimated cost of £5,500 under architects Whitmarsh-Everiss & Smithies of Bristol. It was blessed by Bishop Rudderham on 13 March 1955.

By the 1980s this church had become too small for the rising local population, and its roof was leaking. In 1992 it was replaced by the present building, described by Harding as ‘one of the most unconventional and effective compositions in the diocese’.

This is a fairly utilitarian rectangular building of red brick under a concrete tile roof. It has a sharply gabled central south porch. On the north wall is a diamond-shaped image in tiles of the Virgin and Child. The windows are small and rectangular.

Inside, the walls are of bare buff brick apart from the area behind the sanctuary which is of red brick. The altar is placed against the long north wall, beneath an icon by Sister Petra Clare of Christ in Glory. It is flanked by two pairs of colourful figurative dalle de verre windows of c.1993-4 by Brother Gilbert Taylor of Prinknash Abbey (figure 2, cf. Brockworth nearby). The Stations, also fashioned at Prinknash, are small, circular and have Byzantine-style images. 

Diocese: Clifton

Architect: Stone Design Build of Bristol

Original Date: 1992

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed