Fir Tree Grove, Carshalton, Surrey SM5
A 1970s church built on the site of a 1930s temporary church. The design was apparently provided by the parish priest. It is a functional multi-use structure, with the main volume designed to function as both church and hall.
The parish priest of Sutton purchased an orchard here in the early 1930s and erected a temporary church in 1934. In 1959 Carshalton Beeches was made a separate parish and in 1961 a presbytery was built from designs by Conor P. Fahy ARIBA, linked to the temporary church. In 1976 Fr Elkington was appointed priest and it was under his auspices that the present church was built on the site of the old church, between 1978 and 1981. Apparently the first contractor went bankrupt during the course of the works and the job was finished by David Randall Ltd.
The main building is L-shaped on plan with the single-storey church/hall in one arm and the sacristy with a small hall above in the other. These parts of the building have walls faced with red brick laid in stretcher bond and pitched roofs covered in large concrete tiles or slabs. Between the arms is a flat-roofed red brick hall. The central section of the west gable wall of the main building is glazed to full-height, the windows overlaid with a prominent concrete grid. The south side wall has a row of rectangular metal-framed windows between brick buttresses; the east wall is blind.
Internally the main space is divided into two by a glazed partition with folding timber screens below. The permanent church is in the eastern part with a hall in the western part. Both spaces have parquet floors, walls of buff-coloured brick and tall sloping ceilings. There is no structural sanctuary, merely a raised step. Of the fittings the Lady Chapel altar and the small octagonal font were brought from the old church. The green slate sanctuary furnishings presumably date from the 1970s.
Architect: Fr Cyril Elkington ‘with professional advisers’ (parish guide)
Original Date: 1978
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed