Sedbury - Sacred Heart

Grahamstown Road, Sedbury. Gloucestershire, NP16

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A church of the late 1980s of modern, convenient and quietly pleasing design, but not of special architectural or heritage significance.

Prior to the 1930s Mass was said in the Welsh Street Chapel in Chepstow and after this at St Mary’s, Bulwark. To accommodate the increasing congregation the Army Technical School was used from 1930. In 1939 a church was established in a hut just north of the present one and was blessed on 13 September. This was part of a complex of huts that had been occupied by prisoners in the First World War and shipyard workers. In the Second World War German prisoners of war did much to beautify the church. It was consecrated on 20 June 1950. Better provision came with the building of the present church by Fr Liam Fanning; this was dedicated on 1 June 1988. The identity of the architects has not been established, but the church and its planning bear comparison with designs by Atkins & Walters at Bristol (Withywood), Peasedown St John, and Royal Wootton Bassett (qqv). The church is one of four served from Coleford.

The church has a square plan, steel framed (exposed internally) and faced with buff bricks both outside and in. It is placed under a pyramid roof covered with artificial slates and surmounted by a cross. The sanctuary is lit by top-lit by four skylights and the other illumination comes from a pair of sixteen-light rectangular panels on either side of the sanctuary.

The sanctuary is placed across one corner on axis with the entrance. On one side is a Lady Chapel with folding doors to the main worship space, along another the sacristy, kitchenette, WCs etc. There is a gallery reached by a spiral stair from the entrance porch. Some of the bench seating towards the sanctuary is canted, providing a sense of intimacy and enclosure around the altar.

Diocese: Clifton

Architect: Not established

Original Date: 1988

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed