Halls Lane, Brackley, Northants
One of a number of churches in the Diocese designed by J. S. Comper, built on a low budget and not of special interest.
In 1916 Mrs Juliet Rush of Farthinghoe Lodge, Brackley established a Catholic chapel in her summerhouse, with an initial congregation of five. From 1940 converted stables in Farthinghoe belonging to a Catholic family were used. Later on the Women’s Institute Hall was established as a Mass centre, and the congregation grew to about 80.
A fund to build a permanent church was established in 1947, with £500 given by the Bishop from the legacy of Mrs Rush. The new church was completed in 1957 at a cost of £6,000. The architect was J.S. Comper and the builders Simcock and Usher of Northampton. The church was dedicated to St. Martin of Tours, and was consecrated on Sunday July 28 1957 by Bishop Parker. From the outset the church was served from Buckingham.
A small church built of pink wire-cut Fletton bricks with spare use of cast stone dressings, under a tile roof. The gabled west front has a central two-light window with Y-tracery and hoodmould, flanked by stepped buttresses. The central entrance porch is early but not original; the original appearance is shown in the photograph top left. The church originally had metal windows, also shown in the early photograph, but these have now been replaced in hardwood with leaded panes.
The interior is a simple single space of five bays under a lightweight roof. Furnishings of note include somewhat Baroque-looking polychrome statues of the Virgin and Child and Our Lord in the corners at the liturgical east end, of Continental origin, low relief Stations of the Cross in silver beaten metal on the nave walls, and a square low-relief panel of St Martin at the west end.
Architect: J. S. Comper
Original Date: 1957
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed