Burton Latimer - St Nicholas Owen

Kettering Road, Burton Latimer, Northants

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A striking 1970s church of modern design, by a noted local architectural practice.

The  altar  of  the  church  faces  west  but  for  the  purposes  of  this  description  all references to compass points will assume a conventional east-facing altar. The church is small but of bold form, in an elevated position. The main body of the church comprises a rectangle, greater in its north-south dimension than its east-west, and its monopitch roof rises from east to west with a tall band of clerestory glazing flooding the interior with daylight. The walls are of brick with a stepped plinth and the east and south walls are articulated into three bays by strips of decorative brickwork. The north wall opens, with large glazed openings, onto a small enclosed courtyard. The upper parts of the north and south walls comprise part of the bold roof and are clad in vertical timber boarding with a pronounced fascia of horizontal and angled boarding, a detail picked up in the fascia of the lower structure at the front of the church. This comprises a narthex and ancillary rooms. The entrance is recessed and has a deep open porch, continuing the fascia detail to unite the whole building, the roof of which cranks down over the flight of steps leading up from the car park. To the northwest is a single storey structure for the sacristy etc. Asymmetrically placed above the west front is a cross, designed by the architects, which appears to hover in front of the building.

The entrance leads into a small narthex with lavatory to the right and kitchen to the left.   The   church   is   entered   centrally   on   the   west   wall   and   seems   slightly claustrophobic owing to the relatively modest west to east dimension, an effect exacerbated by the greater width and by the dark timber boarded underside of the roof. This is of slats rather than boards, with gaps between and with sections of the slats  set  at  right  angles  to  that  they  project,  in  a  seemingly  random  decorative pattern. The roof is divided by two open timber and steel trusses of rustic character. The internal walls are of fair-faced brickwork painted white. Wooden altar, ambo and font, also a statue of St Nicholas Owen, all contemporary with the church. Standard stackable plastic chairs have replaced wooden chairs.

Diocese: Northampton

Architect: Gotch, Saunders & Surridge

Original Date: 19725

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed