Salford - Mother of God and St James

Pendleton Way, Pendleton, Salford M6

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The church adopts a striking and simple design and is cleverly lit inside by clerestory and strip windows. It incorporates furnishings from the predecessor church and from a closed church at Weaste.

Pendleton is a suburb of Salford which expanded enormously during the nineteenth century and became a slum area. Clearances took place from the middle of the twentieth century and new high-rise housing blocks were built, as well as a shopping centre. There was a Catholic presence in the area from 1854, when schools were built. What was described in The Tablet as ‘a beautiful church’, an Early English Gothic design by M. Tijou (presumably Herbert Tijou, architect of the chapel to Loreto College, Manchester), was opened by Cardinal Manning, Archbishop of Westminster in 1875. One hundred years later this church was demolished and replaced by the present building. The architects were Desmond Williams & Associates, the design bearing some similarity to their St Sebastian, Salford (1972-3, qv). The appearance of the church soon after its opening is shown at figure 2. In 2010 the church of All Souls, Weaste, was closed, and the marble sanctuary furnishings brought to the church. 

All orientations given are liturgical. The church is steel framed with brick walls and a monopitch roof (originally covered with copper, now with felt).  Bold brick forms create a presence, and the design is somewhat defensive, with few windows. The building is entered from a lower porch which forms a narthex. The slope of the roof and the stepped clerestory lighting create a striking impression inside, and full-height windows towards the east end incorporate stained glass figures said to have originated in the previous church. Marble sanctuary furnishings are presumably those from the church in Weaste and appear to be of later twentieth century date, while the font is of traditional type with a clustered stem and may have come from the earlier church.  

Diocese: Salford

Architect: Desmond Williams & Associates

Original Date: 1975

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed