Building » Bradford – St Matthew

Bradford – St Matthew

Saffron Drive, Allerton, Bradford 15

A single-storey church of system-built construction clad in pebble-dashed or boarded panels, under a shallow-pitched concrete tiled roof.

Allerton, a hill village on the west edge of Bradford expanded in the post-war years when a large residential estate was built by the Council, partly to re-house people displaced by inner city slum clearance. Mass was first said in the school hall in 1957; the parish was created in 1959 with Fr Hadfield the first parish priest. In 1966, the parish purchased a former Baptist church on the main road in Allerton; built in 1872, it was adapted from designs by Hadfield Cawkwell Davison. This building closed in 1980 when the parish moved to the present building.

The church is built on the edge of a post-war housing estate on an elevated site overlooking hills to the south. The 1960s St Patrick’s School is across the road. The church and attached presbytery are set in compact grounds laid to grass with a tarmac car park in front of the presbytery, enclosed by steel fencing.

The single-storey church is of system-built construction clad in pebble-dashed or boarded panels, under a shallow-pitched concrete tiled roof. The plain windows are timber-framed with frosted glass. The liturgical east is at the north end of the building, with a gabled porch on the south gable. The latter was added in 2005, together with new concrete steps. Internally, the church is divided into two spaces; the sanctuary area is on a raised platform and can be separated from the rest of the space by a folding partition, for use as a small chapel. The main space has loose seating enabling it to be used for community events; there is a bar, kitchen and lavatories adjacent to the entrance lobby. Simply designed liturgical fittings all date from c.1980. A single-storey flat-roofed corridor connects the church to the presbytery on the east side.

The parish returns for 2006 give a Mass attendance of 261. The church has close links with St Patrick’s School across the road. It is within the most socially deprived ward in Bradford (Allerton and Thornton). The flexible interior enables the building to be well used for community activities, and it is a low-cost building to heat and manage.

Heritage Details

Architect:

Original Date: 1980

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed