Bollington - St Gregory

Wellington Road, Bollington, Macclesfield, SK10

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A good post-war village church, designed by  the prolific Manchester firm of Reynolds & Scott. The interior is little altered and retains a simple collection of harmonious fittings and finishes. The presbytery is part of the ensemble, on an elevated site in the Bollington conservation area.

A mission was established at Bollington in 1830 by Fr John Hall, in a chapel adapted from two cottages. In 1834 a church of simple classical design was built on land on the edge of the village, given by Mr William Turner of Shrigley Hall, an Anglican. The school was built adjacent, since converted to residential use. By the 1950s the old church was considered to be beyond repair, and was demolished. The present church and presbytery were built on a different site, from designs by Reynolds & Scott; the new buildings cost around £28,000, including fittings. Bishop Murphy opened the church on 6 May 1957. The sanctuary was reordered in the 1970s. The Salesian sisters have managed the parish since 1981.

The building is aligned with the sanctuary and low tower to the east and a narthex to the west, with principal entrance within a gabled porch at the west end of the north elevation. A single storey flat-roofed element along the south side contains the sacristy corridor, confessional and Lady Chapel, and connects the church to the contemporary presbytery (also by Reynolds & Scott). The church is designed in a simple modern Gothic style, faced in buff brick laid in stretcher bond with concrete window frames. The roof is clay tiled with cast iron rainwater goods.   The six-bay nave is expressed by stepped buttresses and plain three-light mullioned windows; all windows are steel-framed with diagonal leaded glazing. Panelled double entrance doors are set within a porch with a Tudor-arched outer opening. The sanctuary is expressed by a hipped roof projection on the east side of the tower and lit by pairs of lancets from both sides.  The squat tower, typical of Reynolds & Scott, has a pair of tall lancets to north and south and triple lancets above the sanctuary; the parapet is raised in the form of a low pediment to each side. A  Crucifixion is set high on the north wall of the tower, facing the road.

The attractive interior is well-lit and most of the original fittings and finishes are in situ. Walls are plain plastered and the soffit of the six-bay roof slope is boarded; the roof bays are defined by timber arch-braced collar trusses. The floor is laid with cream and red terrazzo tiles in a grid pattern, the simple open-backed pews are oak, made by parishioners Bill Walker and Sidney Hartley. The gallery above the narthex is plain fronted, with inserted Tudor-arched central doors and windows below to the narthex. The baptistery in the narthex has a terrazzo octagonal font with font cover from the old  church  and  railings  made by  parishioner  Ron Michaux, who made decorative metalwork throughout the building. The sanctuary, reordered in the 1970s, retains a terrazzo floor, cast concrete rails with steel gates and integral concrete pulpit. The original Portland stone altar with mosaic panels has been brought forward and is on a polished concrete altar platform. The fine mosaic reredos, framed by a pointed arch, depicts the crucified Christ with Mary and St John, and is by Quiligotti & Sons. The Lady Chapel statue and Stations of the Cross are carved wood from northern Italy; the statue is by Stuflesser. Stained glass is limited to the lancets above the sanctuary and the baptistery, the latter has the coat of arms of the Earl of Shrewsbury, probably re-set from the old church, to which the Earl was a donor.

Diocese: Shrewsbury

Architect: Reynolds & Scott

Original Date: 1957

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not listed