Blackpool - St Kentigern

Newton Drive, Blackpool FY3 8BT.

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The first church to be built in the newly-created diocese of Lancaster. St Kentigern is a building of some architectural quality, very old-fashioned for its date, but with a little-altered interior with stained glass, reredoses by Boulton.

The original church-school dates from 1904, and survives as St Kentigern’s school. Work started on the new church in 1926; this was the first church to be built in the newly-created diocese. It was completed in 1931. Both architect (Mr Mercer) and contractor (MR Eaves) were parishioners.

The church is of yellow sandstone with red sandstone dressings, executed in Gothic style  with  Decorated/Transitional  features.  It  has  a  clerestory  with  tall  windows, aisles, and porches on the north side, there is no tower. There is a Decorated style west window and an east rose window in the form of open arms of a cross with quatrefoils between the arms. Low walls with blank arcading and gatepiers to Newton Road form part of the curtilage.

The interior has a narthex with stairs to the west organ gallery, north side. There are five-bay arcades of octagonal stone piers, and a former baptistery, north-west side. The gallery is canted with an ironwork balustrade. There are complex arch-braced open timber roofs, those to the chancel enriched with openwork quatrefoils. The chancel arch has attached circular piers with foliated caps and on each side are stone niches with statues. The chancel has a large reredos of painted stone which occupies the full width of the space. It has canopies flanking a central canopied Crucifixion scene. Forward altar where the chancel has been extended by one bay into the nave. Flanking chapels have ironwork altar rails and reredoses and altars of painted stone. These and the chancel reredos are by Boulton of Cheltenham. On the south east side there is a notional transept, treated as an additional aisle with an arcade, where confessionals are situated.

Other furnishings include an alabaster pulpit and Stations of the Cross in relief in alabaster surrounds. Most of the windows (except the clerestory) have stained glass of good but not outstanding quality, mainly of the 1930s. The east rose window glass differs in style and may be later in date. Bench seating is of pitch-pine.

Diocese: Lancaster

Architect: R. Mercer of Preston

Original Date: 1931

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed