Bilborough - St Hugh of Lincoln

Staverton Road, Bilborough, Nottingham NG8

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A 1960s church of modest design, the testing ground for the larger and more structurally adventurous St Teresa’s, Aspley (qv). The church has some furnishings attributed to David John and pews from Nottingham Cathedral.

St Hugh’s started life in the late 1940s as a chapel of ease to St Teresa’s, Aspley (qv), housed in a temporary wooden building.  By the end of the 1950s it was apparent that the wooden churches both at Aspley and Bilborough were no longer fit for purpose, and it was decided to replace them. The architect for both was John Rochford of Sheffield,  and  the  unusual  form  of  roof  construction  used  was,  according  to  the parish history, inspired by a visit by the church choirmaster to the Commonwealth Hall at the Scott-Bader Chemicals Factory in Wellingborough. St Hugh’s was the first to be built, at a modest cost of £16,870, and its design was perhaps the testing ground for  the  larger  and  more  structurally  adventurous  St  Teresa’s.    The  church  was designed to seat 300. Building started in April 1963 and was completed by March 1964. The old church was retained and renovated as a hall. St Hugh’s has been a separate parish since 1968, and a presbytery has since been built.

The  church  consists of four  parabolic  timber  shell  roofs  supported  at  the centre points of each of the outwear walls and arranged to throw concealed light onto the main focus, the altar and sanctuary. The nave is approximately square on plan, enclosed by red brick external walls, with high level clerestory glazing with abstract coloured  glass  diffusing  the  light.    The  windows  have  been  renewed  in  PVCu. Ancillary  accommodation  is  concentrated  on  one  side.  The  internal  walls  are plastered,  and  the  soffits  of  the  roof  of  varnished  timber  boarding.  There  is  an original canopy and Crucifix over the altar, which has been brought forward. The Crucifix and the Stations are by David John, according to the parish priest. The most notable furnishings are perhaps the benches, which come from the Cathedral, having been ejected at the time of Weightman and Bullen’s 1962 renovations.

Diocese: Nottingham

Architect: John Rochford

Original Date: 1963

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed