Nottingham Road, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55
The building complex forms a readily identifiable group on a principal route in Alfreton. The core of the building is a simple brick church of 1927, but the attractive original design was altered and overlaid by utilitarian additions in 1982.
A small church dedicated to St Mary was opened on Park Street in Alfreton in 1883. In 1923 an appeal was launched for funds to build a new church on a plot on Nottingham Road. The new building opened in 1927, and has claims to be the first new church dedicated to Christ the King (a feast instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925). The parish priest Fr Joseph Heald was responsible for the design. The front elevation was an attractive design, with shaped gables and a wide tetrasyle stone portico with Tuscan columns. It was approached by an avenue, and a large crucifix was placed in front. The building was illustrated in The Tablet (24 September 1927), where the account also states:
‘The altar of the new church is of solid stone, without gradines or other adornment, standing in front of a small apse. The pallium altaris, in correct liturgical fashion, covers the altar both front and back. The cross and candlesticks were presented to the church in the Holy Year by His Eminence Cardinal Merry del Val.’
In 1982 the original design was spoilt by the rebuilding of the shaped gable as a plain experimented gable and replacement of the portico with a long narthex. At the same time a large new social centre and parish hall was built next to the church.
The church is a very plain building of brick with an added narthex clad in random coursed stone. A statue of Christ the King is set beside the entrance which is sheltered by a plain canopy. The church is lit by plain round-arched windows with clear glass. The narthex is a utilitarian space with glazed doors into the main body of the church. The interior is simply appointed with an open timber roof, a tall blank arched recess at the east end and a two-bay arcade on the north side of the sanctuary linking it to a Lady Chapel. The forward altar was covered with photographs etc, and it was not clear whether it was that of 1927, described in the account above. A crucifix hangs in the sanctuary and there is a plaster statue of the Virgin behind a timber altar in the Lady Chapel.
Amended by AHP 26.01.2021
Architect: Rev Joseph Heald
Original Date: 1927
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed