Margaret Street, Ammanford, SA18 2NP
An economical design of the early twenty-first century, notable for its boldly projecting west tower and some stained glass of note.
In 1910 the Carmarthen Passionists undertook the spiritual care of Catholics in the mining town of Ammanford. In 1914 they bought a meeting hall in Margaret Street, built only six years previously by a nonconformist group. Ammanford became a separate parish in 1926, with a resident priest from 1928. Many of the early parishioners were Irish or Italian. A hall was built behind the church in 1932 and there was also a small presbytery. After the arrival of the Rev. Frank Maher SJ (ret’d) in 1995 funds were raised for the building of a new church. The old church, hall and presbytery were demolished and a new church built on the same site from designs by Nigel Arnold, architect of Penarth, opening in 2004. A house across road was purchased as a presbytery, but has since been sold.
The church is not orientated; the liturgical east end faces towards the north. All directions in the following description are liturgical. The church is rectangular on plan with a tower or upstand at the west end next the street. The walls are a mixture of yellow brick and render; the roof slopes are covered in metal. The tower is faced with render and has a narrow curving face towards the street and a roofline sloping boldly down at the rear. The tower is set into the main body of the church, which has a roof with two monopitch slopes, forming a clerestory on the north side. To the left of the tower is an open entrance porch. The side and rear walls of the main building are enclosed by other properties.
Internally, an entrance lobby in the base of the tower opens into the body of the church. This is a wide single space with laminated timber roof trusses resting on short steel posts against the side walls. The walls are plain plastered, the floor covered in carpet. The north side wall has four large rectangular window openings filled with clear glass blocks. The clerestory in the north roof slope is also clear glazed. The south wall has a series of small vertical slit windows filled with stained glass. There is no structural sanctuary, simply a raised platform and a recess in the blind east wall with a crucifix. The furnishings were mostly made for the present church. The altar, ambo and statues on the east wall were supplied by Ormsby of Scarisbrick. The nave is seated with chairs not benches. Several of the figurative stained glass windows in the south wall are by Gareth Morgan (St John the Baptist and St Francis, 2005; Our Lady and Child, 2010). The striking window of the Annunciation in the west wall is by Elizabeth Edmundson of Glasslight Studios, Abertawe and dates from 1985, so presumably made for the previous church. The carved and painted Stations of the Cross are older, and probably came from the previous building.
Architect: Nigel Arnold
Original Date: 2004
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed