Chandlers Ford - St Edward the Confessor

Winchester Road, Chandlers Ford, Hants

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The original church is an attractive essay in the Arts & Crafts tradition, by W.H. Randoll Blacking, a pupil of Sir Ninian Comper. It has a low weatherboarded tower and a shingled spire. The church was considerably enlarged in 1989 to designs by Robert Potter, a pupil of Blacking and a major regional post-war church architect. The juxtaposition of the old and the new is bold but successful.

This church was built to serve the needs of Chandlers Ford at the instigation of Mrs Helen Ringold Christian as a memorial to her husband, Edward, lord of the manor of Otterbourne. Her architect was W. H. Randoll Blacking of Salisbury, a pupil of Sir Ninian Comper. The church was consecrated on 10 March 1938.

Large additions were added in 1989 to designs by Robert Potter, a pupil of Blacking. These almost doubled the size of the church to seat 320, and provided a hall, office and repository on the left of the existing building. The window behind the altar was filled with stained glass by David Wasley in 1990.

(The church is oriented north (strictly northwest), so all directions given here are liturgical).

The nave-cum-chancel, south aisle and southwest tower of the 1938 building survive. The church has been doubled in size by an extension on the north: this involves a long, rectangular congregational space with a smaller rectangular projection for the sanctuary terminating in a glazed triangular area. The original church is faced with mortar and flint. The tower is low and has weatherboarding on its upper parts and is topped by a shingled, splayed-foot spire. To the east of the tower the aisle has a plain parapet and low-pitched metal roof. It has three three-light mullioned windows. There is a continuous, plain tiled roof over the nave and chancel. West of the original building is the extension for the parish centre under a pair of gables. It extends back beyond both the 1938 building and the 1989 extension. The walls of the church extension and the parish centre are rough-cast above a buff brick plinth.

The 1938 church had no chancel arch and the main space lay under a continuous five-sided roof. There is an arcade with depressed segmental arches to the former south aisle. The north side of this church has been opened out under a joist spanning almost the whole length of it. This space is covered by a series of truncated pyramidal ceiling compartments lined with matchboarding.

The sanctuary area is dominated by bright stained glass in the projection beyond. It was the work of David Wastley and is dated 1990. It represents the Resurrection and also embodies symbols for St Edward the Confessor, St Edmund of Abingdon and the local saint, St Swithun Wells.

The hall area to the west has abundant timbering in its walls and ceiling and may be divided by screens; screens also exist to the church extension to increase its seating area for popular services.

Diocese: Portsmouth

Architect: W. H. Randoll Blacking: extension by Robert Potter

Original Date: 1937

Conservation Area: No

Modifications: 1989

Listed Grade: Not listed