Brixham - Our Lady Star of the Sea

43 New Road, Brixham, Devon

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A bold and unusual design, prominent in the townscape of the conservation area, and with a semicircular seating plan which reflects the liturgical changes of the second Vatican Council. The car park on the roof is possibly unique in an ecclesiastical context.  

The church for the newly-established parish of Brixham was built in 1966 and opened by Bishop Restieaux on March 8 1967. The architects were Evans, Powell and Powell, responsible also for the similarly ground-breaking (for the Diocese) design of thechurchofSt Peter, Crownhill,Plymouth(1969-70).  The church was built to seat 300, with space for 80 more in the gallery.  

The church stands on an awkward site which slopes steeply up from the roadside. The main body of the church is composed of two box-like volumes set side by side, one taller than the other, steel framed and clad in rendered concrete, and with pre-cast concrete floors and roofs. The larger volume contains a parish hall on the ground floor with the main church space above.  The smaller volume contains the main entrance stair and the baptistery. A square tower with a square lantern top rises from the rear of the baptistery block. The slope of the ground means that there is access from the rear of the site to the roof of the main church, which is used for car-parking.

 

A bronze statue of Christ the King is suspended over the entrance doors. The interior of the church is rectangular in plan with the altar in the centre of the long east side and galleries on the other three sides, with an organ in the centre of the west gallery.  There are windows with abstract stained glass on the south side and clear-glazed windows on the west side at gallery level.  The floor is parquet, the walls plain plastered and the flat ceiling is faced with acoustic tiles.  Fittings include the original semi-circle of nave benches, fibreglass bronze Stations of the Cross fixed to the gallery front, and a stained glass window in the baptistery by Moira Forsyth.  The altar arrangements were re-ordered in 2004. 

Diocese: Plymouth

Architect: Evans, Powell and Powell

Original Date: 1966

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not listed