James Street, Annfield Plain, Co. Durham DH9
A plain brick church with attached presbytery, both of 1953. The church was extended in 1972.
The parish was created in the early 1950s and a local colliery company donated the land. The construction of the church and the attached presbytery was started in the summer of 1953. The outer walls were blessed on 2 December and the church was opened on 17 December 1953 by Bishop McCormack. The altar rails were made and fitted by two parishioners. Parishioners also donated the Stations of the Cross.
In the early 1970s the church was reordered and the marble altar moved forward. In 1972, an extension was built at the west which included a kitchen, a toilet and a new porch. (The additional space is now divided from the nave by folding screens for use both as meeting space and part of the church.)
In the early 2000s some land was sold for a housing development. This financed some of the alterations for the Jubilee in 2003. The sanctuary wall was moved forward by 2m in order to create a new sacristy within the new space and the use of the former sacristy as an office. The sanctuary was moved slightly further west. The tabernacle was placed in a niche which formerly held a statue of the Virgin Mary. A former confessional at the southeast was converted to a Lady Chapel. Five new stained glass windows were installed using iconography with local connections, such as a pit head with a miner’s lamp, pick and shovel. Annfield Plain is a separate parish but served from Stanley.
The church is built in red brick, laid in stretcher bond, with a tiled roof. The plan is rectangular with two flat-roofed projections: a porch and narthex at the northwest and the former sacristy at the northeast. The nave has a canted ceiling. The sanctuary furnishings include the marble altar and lectern and a timber font. The tabernacle is situated in a niche to the south of the sanctuary. The Lady Chapel is a converted former confessional at the southeast, with blue glass and a statue of the Virgin Mary. The Stations of the Cross are unframed timber reliefs.
Architect: Not established
Original Date: 1953
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed