Glenfield Road, Fairfield, Stockton-on-Tees TS19
A typical post-Vatican II church built to serve a large housing estate, altered in the 1990s. It was economically built using a durable brick and has a functional interior with few features of heritage or artistic value.
The parish was erected in 1967, and is the most recent of the Stockton parishes. The church and presbytery were built to serve the growing post-war estate of Fairfield, built for social and private housing. Stockton’s growth was due to work being available in engineering and at the ICI chemical works at Billingham. The church complex was estimated to cost £72,000 in 1973. The parish hall was added in 1990s, when the gabled porch and pitched roof verandah was built onto the front of the church.
The 1973 church design is planned as a low octagonal form, with a fan-shaped nave focussed on a corner sanctuary at the south side of the building. The church is connected to the presbytery by a flat-roofed link block containing sacristies and a meeting room. The single-storey presbytery has a mono-pitched roof with integral garage and between this and the church is a small landscaped courtyard. The church is faced in buff brick laid in stretcher bond. Roofs are either flat behind plain parapets or pitched with concrete tiles. The entrance faces roughly northeast and is expressed by a 1990s gabled timber open porch, tempering the modernism of the 1973 design. Windows are kept to a minimum; the nave has no natural lighting but the sanctuary is top-lit by a wide tapering lantern. The circulation areas around the outside of the nave are lit by narrow vertical slots in the brickwork.
The interior of the church is modern in character, designed in response to the Second Vatican Council. The undivided interior is focussed on the sanctuary which is brightly lit by a tall lantern and vertical side lights. The nave in contrast is a low ceilinged volume with no natural light, a rather oppressive space. The low flat ceiling over the nave is divided by concrete beams and lit by concealed strip lights. The walls are lined with vertical hardwood boarding, and the doors are hardwood. The floor is carpeted. Fittings include hardwood pews and plain marble sanctuary fittings. The oak Stations of the Cross appear to pre-date the church, brought here from another church.
Original Date: 1973
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed