Yarm Road, Stockton-on-Tees TS18
One of the better post-war churches designed by the prolific architect Thomas Crawford, with a confident west front addressing Yarm Road. The conventionally planned interior is well-lit and retains some good quality fittings; the 1990s reordering complements the interior.
A Catholic mission was first established in this southern part of Stockton in 1908; the area grew as a middle class suburb. In the 1920s a timber framed church was built on the corner of Yarm Road and Spring Street, with an adjacent brick presbytery. This church was replaced by a new church on the same site, consecrated on 2 July and opened on 8 July 1958 by Bishop Cunningham. The church was planned to seat 450 and cost £30,000. The architect was Thomas A. Crawford of Middlesbrough and the contractor John McCreton, also of Middlesbrough.
The church was reordered and new stained glass provided in the 1990s.
The church is aligned with the sanctuary roughly to the west, and in this description, liturgical compass points will be used.
The west front of the building faces Yarm Road, with principal doorway set in a low tower. The church is planned conventionally with tower containing west gallery above an open narthex, six-bay nave, flat-roofed aisles with side chapels and sacristies. The sanctuary and nave are within the same volume, with the sanctuary expressed externally by a group of three windows. The external walls are faced in a buff brick, with recessed horizontal joints and stone dressings. The pitched main roof is laid with red plain tiles, with a coped verge to the east gable end with cross finial. The west tower has a stepped profile and an entrance and window arrangement similar to other west fronts designed by Crawford, with door and tripartite window set within a tall recessed concrete frame, with a cross carried up above the gable. The nave clerestory windows are arranged in tall pairs with tapered heads, aisles have pairs of smaller windows, all with slim concrete frames. The leaded steel windows are protected with polycarbonate screens.
Inside, the church is well-lit and spacious; the white-painted plaster above a fair-faced brick dado. The shallow wagon vaulted roof is finished in white acoustic panels and continues from the nave into the sanctuary without interruption. The nave arcades are semi-circular arches without mouldings on brick piers, with smaller arches within the aisles. The side-lit sanctuary is defined by wide steps and short side walls; it was reordered in the early 1990s with new marble altar and font. The tabernacle is placed on a plinth against the east wall, below a recessed reredos which previously framed the high altar. Other fittings include oak choir stalls and nave pews, and confessional doors and 1950s wall lights. The side chapels have 1920s Gothic-style altars from the previous church on this site. New stained glass was provided in the late 1990s by Fr McKenzie.
Architect: Thomas A. Crawford
Original Date: 1958
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed