Building » Derby (Allestree) – Holy Family

Derby (Allestree) – Holy Family

Blenheim Drive, Allestree, Derby DE22

Holy Family is typical of the more modest church buildings constructed in the post-war years to serve Derby’s rapidly-expanding suburban estates. Originally intended as a parish hall, the building’s interior was skilfully adapted in the 1990s to create an attractive series of well-lit worship and ancillary spaces.  The building has simple modern fittings of the 1970s and 1990s, with good stained glass by John Dean.

The parish was created in 1970 to serve Allestree, a large suburban area of private housing to the north of Derby. The founding parish priest was Fr Brendan O’Callaghan. A site was purchased in c.1970 for the purpose of building a parish hall and church; in 1972 a dual-purpose church and hall was built from designs by Derek Montague, the intention being for this to revert to being a hall later, with a separate purpose-built church.The contractor was R. Blood Ltd and the building cost around £18,500.

The parish  has been served  by St  Mary’s,  Derby since the early 1990s,  and  was extended and reordered from designs by Montague in 1994; the church was re-orientated by adapting the former sanctuary as a Day Chapel and creating a new sanctuary at the north gable-end. In 1999 the church was reordered again (and reroofed), with Peter Langtry-Langton the architect.


The liturgical east end of the building is roughly to the northeast; for this description, conventional liturgical compass points will be used. The low building is rectangular, built at an angle to the road, with a gabled west porch facing the car park; this is part of the 1994 addition, with lean-to meeting rooms, kitchen and WCs to either side of the entrance. The Day Chapel is within a lean-to projection along the north side of the building, with side doorway facing the road. The building is faced in a buff brick with shallow-pitched concrete tiled roof. The church interior is lit by high-level gable-end windows above the 1990s west end, clerestory windows to the south and at the east end, small stained glass windows are arranged in three panels.

Inside, the narthex at the west end can be combined with the main worship area by moving a folding screen. Ancillary facilities lead off either side of the narthex. The worship space has white painted walls and a sloping ceiling lined with white panels. The sanctuary is defined by a raised carpeted platform across the full width of the church, with bold 1990s stained glass in the east windows by John Dean. The nave has a boarded timber floor and seating comprising upholstered modern chairs. Liturgical fittings are plain, modern designs in stained timber. The pendant light fittings appear to date from the 1970s. The Day Chapel to the north has white painted walls and a sloping ceiling lined with timber. It is lit by windows to the north, with stained glass by John Dean, 1990s.

Heritage Details

Architect: D. J. Montague

Original Date: 1972

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed