Waterside - St Michael

Langdown Lawn, Hythe, Hampshire

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A cheaply built church, using the Lanner system popular for small churches in the 1950s and 60s. Of no particular architectural significance, though a pleasant well-lit interior.

In 1935 the Catholics of Hythe and Fawley petitioned the Vicar General for a church at Hythe, it being believed that there was a benefactor who would assist with costs. In 1958 the land was acquired but the church of St Michael and a presbytery were not built until 1965. The architects were a Bournemouth practice, Alan Stewart & H.G. Jacobs and the builder, Lanner of Wakefield. Lanner produced a standard ‘kit of parts’ for buildings with laminated timber ‘crucks’ as the structural supports. The cost of the church was £23,650, with the presbytery and car park a further £4,350. The parish was combined with that of St Bernard Holbury in 1992.

Externally the church is of brick with a concrete tile roof. Nave and sanctuary are differentiated, together with a porch and liturgical northeast chapel. The former presbytery is attached to the sanctuary. Tall rectangular windows light the nave, the vertical slot continued below the windows as flint panels. The sanctuary has clerestory windows. The entrance to the church is now at the sanctuary end of the nave, with a ramp up to double doors. The liturgical west entrance is approached by a flight of steps with a canopy over the landing. Flat-roofed porch with a high-level window to the former baptistery to the right. Large multi-paned window above, rising into the gable. The interior is dominated by the laminated timber crucks which rise from the ground and form the structure. The sanctuary is narrower than the nave but with no other demarcation. Lower, ceilinged side chapel with a floor to ceiling window lighting the altar. The fittings are mostly of the time of the church, though the main wooden altar is older.

Diocese: Portsmouth

Architect: Alan Stewart & H.G. Jacobs of Bournemouth

Original Date: 1965

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed