Cooper Lane, Buttershaw, Bradford, West Yorkshire
A modest building, cared for and fit for purpose but of little architectural or townscape importance.
Buttershaw is situated at the southwestern edge of Bradford and is a large post-war housing estate. Ronchetti began design work on a Catholic church for the area in March 1955. The foundation stone was laid on 9 June of that year and was officially opened on 31 January 1956. Together with the parish room the cost was £15,000.
The church has the altar facing roughly west but in this section all references will be to conventional orientation, i.e. as if the altar faced east.
The church is built of rustic brick with plain clay tile roof. Nave, sanctuary and narthex are expressed externally under a single roof, hipped at either end, but both narthex and sanctuary are narrower than the nave. The sacristy is attached on one side, with the L-range hall and social facility on the other, with a separate gabled porch entrance. The presbytery is detached and stands next to the church. The entrance front of the church is composed with a bold, stepped round arch forming a shallow porch. Narrow windows to either side and four similar windows above. Pilasters or clasping buttresses at the corners. The side walls of the narthex have a further pilaster, giving a slight effect of the base of a tower, and have two similar windows at lower level. The side walls of the nave have similar windows but much taller and proportionally wider. Similar windows again to the side walls of the sanctuary and two windows to the east, now blocked.
The interior is simple, with a canted ceiling with just the lower parts of lightweight trusses exposed, with steel tie rods. The walls are now plastered but were originally exposed brick. Plain segmental sanctuary arch. The first bay of the sanctuary is the width of the nave and hence forms a set-back on either side. Reredos as a plain panel with segmental top, adorned with a crucifix. Brightly coloured hangings on either side. Unusual altar formed as an arch with two angled supports above for the altar slab. The sanctuary was re-ordered circa 1990. Octagonal wooden font and open- backed pews of the time of the church. The west gallery has a broad arched opening into the nave treated as a window in the wall between rooms rather than the more conventional gallery. The Stations of the Cross are multicoloured plaster relief panels.
Architect: R. A. Ronchetti
Original Date: 1955
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed