Oakfield, Anfield, Liverpool 4
A mature and accomplished Perpendicular Gothic design in rock-faced sandstone by J. B. Sinnott, a significant Liverpool Catholic architect working around the turn of the twentieth century.
The present site was acquired in 1885 to provide a church and school for the growing population of Anfield. Two cotton broker brothers, Francis and James Reynolds (who also paid for Leonard Stokes’ church of St Clare, Sefton Park, qv), provided a temporary building, housing a school on the ground floor with a church above. This was opened by Bishop O’Reilly on 8 September 1889.
The present church was built in 1910 to the designs of J. B. Sinnott, and opened by Archbishop Whiteside. The preacher was Dr Keating, then Bishop of Northampton and later Archbishop of Liverpool. He consecrated the church on 6 October 1921.
In 1940 the church was twice damaged by bombs. On the night of 5 September incendiary bombs set the roof of the sacristies on fire and on 22 October, a high explosive bomb fell in the playground between the church and the school.
The church is built of rock-faced sandstone with slate roofs. Perpendicular Gothic style, consisting of a nave, short sanctuary and north and south chapels, north and south aisles, western porch and baptistry. There is no tower.
The west front has two tall paired window openings with Perp tracery and below this a carved frieze with the dedication and date of construction, below this the carved arms of the (then) diocese. The main entrance porch is at the southwest corner, and this is asymmetrically balanced by a baptistery with a canted end wall at the northwest corner.
The nave consists of six bays, with octagonal piers and moulded arcades. Each bay is marked by a wall post supporting a timber truss and boarded compartmentalised roof (painted). There is a tall sanctuary arch and short sanctuary, with a circular window with Perp tracery placed high in the liturgical east wall, with glass depicting the crucified Christ flanked by figures of Our Lady and St John. At the west end of the nave there is an organ gallery, its front with a geometrical chamfered openwork design. Below this is a narthex/gathering area. In the aisles there is a fairly complete set of mid-twentieth century stained glass showing various saints.
Recent reordering has involved the creation of a clergy vestry in the former sanctuary area, and the formation of a dais in front of this, with an ensemble of stone altar, ambo and font (with silver bowl). A meeting room and kitchen have been formed in the former sacristy area giving off the south aisle.
Entry amended by AHP 8.1.2021
Architect: J. B. Sinnott
Original Date: 1910
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed