Building » Droylsden – St Stephen

Droylsden – St Stephen

Chappell Road, Droylsden, Manchester M43

One of a number of similar churches in the area designed by Greenhalgh & Williams during the 1950s. It is a little more elaborate than some of the other examples, with distinctive glazing detail. The west tower is something of a local landmark.

Droylsden became built up from the late eighteenth century with the advent of industry. More expansion occurred during the twentieth century and the area is now a suburb of Ashton-under-Lyne.  A Catholic mission was started in 1935, and schools and a presbytery were built before 1939.  A ‘tin tabernacle’ was erected to serve as a temporary church – its third use as such. It had been acquired from St Dunstan at Moston (qv) and before that had been at English Martyrs, Urmston (qv).

The present church and attached presbytery were built from designs by Greenhalgh & Williams in 1958-9, the church being consecrated on 12 May 1960.  An early view of the interior is shown at figure 1. A reordering took place, probably in the 1960s or 70s, when the altar rails were removed and the altar moved forward. Probably at the same time, the font was brought into the church from the baptistery.

All orientations given are liturgical. The structure is of steel truss construction with brick and random stone walling. The church has an integral west tower with pitched roof and continuous glazing in honeycomb patterns along each side of the nave. A low Lady Chapel projects on the northeast side. Inside there is a narthex beneath a west gallery with disused baptistery at the north end. The sanctuary is lit by concealed full-height slit windows.  Original furnishings by the architects include the marble altar, the hardwood pulpit and doors with distinctive cutaway detailing, bench seating and reredos with Crucifix beneath a canopy with lattice detailing.

Heritage Details

Architect:

Original Date: 1959

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed