Building » Canvey Island – Our Lady of Canvey and the English Martyrs

Canvey Island – Our Lady of Canvey and the English Martyrs

Long Road, Canvey Island, Essex SS8

A simple church of the  1930s, vaguely Dutch in  style, built from the designs of a local architect at a time of major expansion in the population of Canvey Island.

The church was opened in April 1938 to cater for the island population which was rapidly expanding following the opening of the bridge to South Benfleet in 1931. The architect was a local man, Eugene Ernest Lawrence. The adjacent presbytery was built in 1952, from designs by A. J. Newton of Burles, Newton & Partners. A church/hall extension was added in 1976-77, which also enlarged the body of the original  church by two bays  at  the eastern end. The church was liturgically re- ordered in 1986.


The church of Our Lady of Canvey is in a vaguely Dutch style. The building has a steel frame with walls of brick faced with render. The main roof has coverings of green-glazed tiles. On plan, the church comprises a single rectangular aisle-less nave with a west tower. The tower has prominent sloping buttresses at the external angles and a tall pyramidal roof covered in concrete tiles. The body of the church is simply detailed with side walls of six bays, with a rectangular window in each bay.  The two eastern bays were added in the 1970s when a new hall was attached to the north side of the church. The flat east end wall of the church is blind.

The interior is a single space with no structural divisions. The solid floor is carpeted, the walls are boarded and there is a suspended slightly-curved boarded ceiling just above the level of the side windows, which are all clear-glazed. The sanctuary is marked only by a single step up at the east end. The fittings are of the simplest.

Heritage Details

Architect: Eugene Ernest Lawrence

Original Date: 1938

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not Listed