East Leake, Loughborough - Our Lady of the Angels

Main Street, East Leake, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE12

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Post-war   church   in   the   stripped   sub-Romanesque   Moderne   style popular for Catholic churches in the middle decades of the 20th century. The   exterior   is   somewhat   gaunt,   the   interior   more   intimate   in character.

From 1952 Mass was said in the East Leake village hall by Rosminian priests from St Mary’s, Loughborough. Two years later a plot of land in Main Street was donated by Captain and Mrs Alexander Roulstone (who were not Catholics), and Bishop Ellis authorised the construction of a new church.  The foundation stone was laid in June 1954 and the first Mass was said in May 1955. The church was built from designs by E. Bower Norris, the builders were H. Hammond and Sons of Loughborough, and the church accommodated 148 worshippers.

In 1969 the church was taken over by the Diocese, and since that time has been served by secular priests. A presbytery was built behind the church in the 1970s and more recently an attached parish hall has been built at the back of the church.

In 2004 a mosaic depicting the Annunciation was installed over the west door from designs by Tessa Hunkin of the Mosaic Workshop, London (photo top right). More recently the interior has been refurbished by John Halton Design Ltd (contractor Frank Goulding Ltd), works which have included a new ceiling and redecoration.

The church is orientated north-south, but this description follows conventional liturgical orientation.

This is a brick (stretcher bond) church in the stripped moderne, sub-Romanesque style popular in the interwar and post-war years. It consists of an aisleless nave and west tower, with lower confessionals and sacristies etc giving the south side. The tapering brick tower has a shallow pedimented parapet and recessed panels at the angles at the upper stage. The entrance door and a tall tripartite window over are set within reconstituted stone frame and mullions; separating the two is a mosaic panel of  the Annunciation of 2004  (photo upper right).     To the right of the recessed entrance doors a panel is placed on the reveal recording the donors of the land for the church. A ramped entrance has been formed in the southern flank wall of the tower. The nave walls have rectangular headed clerestory windows with coloured glass set in metal frames; shallow pitched roof over with felt finish. The sacristies, confessionals etc are flat roofed, the roof hidden by a parapet of brick on edge with reconstituted stone coping. Soldier course brickwork over the windows.

The main entrance leads into a small narthex under a western gallery in the tower area. A former baptistery gives off the north side of the narthex, with a fish stained glass roundel in the central window. The main body of the church consists of a single space, with a narrower sanctuary. The ceiling has a staggered soffit of art deco character on either side, possibly of recent date. The walls are plastered, and there is a  good  set  of  oak  benches  with  openwork  panels  on  the  ends  and  backs.    The sanctuary   furnishings   include   the   original   tapering   font   (relocated   from   the baptistery) and some fine embroidered panels by a lady of the parish. At the west end of  the nave is a small organ by Bennington and  Sons of London, Gothic  and of apparent late 19th century date, so brought from elsewhere.

Diocese: Nottingham

Architect: E. Bower Norris

Original Date: 1954

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed