Dursley - St Dominic

Jubilee Road, Dursley, Gloucestershire, GL11

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A brick church in a simple round-arched style, one of several similar designs in the diocese built shortly before the Second World War from designs by Roberts & Willman of Taunton. 

Dursley was served from Nympsfield until 1930. Initially the Dominicans from Woodchester said Mass in a barn in Broadwell Street and from 1933 in a YMCA hut in Long Street. Mrs Millicent Lister led fundraising efforts to build a church, and enlisted the support of the Catholic convert Evelyn Waugh, then living not far away at Piers Court, Stinchcombe, and the Misses Leigh of Woodchester Park. The foundation stone was laid by Bishop Lee on 3 September 1938 and the church, a chapel-of-ease to Nympsfield, was opened by the bishop on 26 February 1939. This was one of several churches built in the diocese immediately before the war from designs by Roberts & Willman of Taunton. The cost was £2,690. The first resident priest was appointed in 1950, and a purpose-built presbytery followed in 1954. A parish hall was built in 1957 and a school in 1959. The church was dedicated by Bishop Alexander in 1997. Today Nympsfield (qv) is served from Dursley. 

The church was built in 1938-9 from designs by Roberts & Willman of Taunton. It is in a simple round-arched style, built of brown brick laid in stretcher bond with red brick dressings, under a pantile roof. It has an aisleless cruciform plan, with a later sacristy forming a link with the presbytery of 1954. The entrance front has a high relief statue of St Dominic placed in the otherwise plain tympanum, a common feature in Roberts & Willman’s churches. A circular window is placed above this and two broad pilasters near the corners. There are three windows on each side of the nave set within large arches (suggesting an intention to add aisles), with pairs of lights in the transepts and another pair of windows on the north side of the chancel.

A narthex with gallery over leads into the nave. The interior is plastered and whitened although the east wall is painted yellow. The open timber roof is of king-post construction, the flooring is of wooden blocks. The sanctuary has a traditional layout, with communion rails and high altar with a classical reredos; there is no forward altar. There is another simple classical reredos to the Lady altar in the north chapel.

Diocese: Clifton

Architect: Roberts & Willman of Taunton

Original Date: 1939

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed