Handley Road, Bramhall, Stockport SK7
An example of the many modest dual-purpose parish hall/churches built on post-war housing estates. The exterior fenestration has been renewed, but the interior is almost unaltered, with good materials and a deft handling of natural light from high-level windows.
Mass was first said in Bramhall at the Ladybrook Hotel from 1944, by a priest from Hazel Grove, then in the scout hut on Linney Road from 1965. The present church was built as a chapel-of-ease in 1969 to serve the growing post-war community in Bramhall. It was built by Fr Carroll from Edgeley at a cost of £1800. The parish was formed in 1978 and is now served from Cheadle St Chad’s.
The church was designed as a combined parish hall and church, a function it still performs. The entrance faces roughly northeast with the sanctuary to the southwest; for this description liturgical compass points will be used. The entrance is emphasised by a flat-roofed canopy on steel columns that shelters the approach path; the horizontal lines of this structure echo the flat roof of the main building with the canopy, hall and entrance block forming three simple connecting geometric forms. The facing material is a buff brick with most elevations blind; fenestration is kept to a minimum with the hall lit by clerestory lights between projecting ribs and the entrance block lit by rooflights, a design driven by security concerns. Windows are now uPVC and the original entrance doors are hardwood. The flat roof has an angled fascia, originally clad in cedar boarding, since renewed.
Inside the rectangular interior space is flexible; a folding screen in American cherry timber veneer can be closed to screen the sanctuary for secular events. The sanctuary is flanked by a kitchen to the north and a sacristy to the south. The walls are fair-faced brick, flat roof is supported on exposed steel beams and the floor is of hardwood blocks. The simple hardwood sanctuary fittings probably date from 1968, with the altar on a small platform. Seating is mostly on loose chairs with some pews brought here from Our Lady and the Apostles in Stockport.
Architect: Mather & Nutter
Original Date: 1969
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed