Stockport - Our Lady and the Apostles

Shaw Heath, Edgeley, Stockport, SK3

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A striking Edwardian town church by the Liverpool architect Edmund Kirby. The bold red brick and terracotta exterior is a strong feature on the edge of Stockport town centre, with a contemporary presbytery. The lofty interior is for its date a fairly conservative but nevertheless successful Gothic design with good, well-made fittings, including glass attributed to Margaret Rope.

The recent list description (below) provides a comprehensive summary of the main features and character of the building. The church is similar to Kirby’s Sacred Heart, Chorley (1894) and St Vincent, Altrincham, qv (1904). The west front faces roughly south-west, but in the list description, liturgical compass points are used.

In 1925 the sanctuary was redesigned as a First World War memorial, with a new high altar backed by a carved oak screen. A re-ordering scheme of c.1989 involved the extension of this screen to enclose the sanctuary chapel. At the same time a new altar, font and ambo were introduced in front of the chancel arch.

Catholics in Stockport were served from Manchester during the late eighteenth century; Fr James Blundell first said Mass in a room on Windmill Street before building a church dedicated to St James and St Philip in Shaw Heath in 1803. That church was rebuilt and refurbished on several occasions before being replaced by the present church of Our Lady and the Apostles in 1905, from designs by Edmund Kirby.

Diocese: Shrewsbury

Architect: Edmund Kirby

Original Date: 1905

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Grade II