Broadway, Chadderton, Oldham OL9 0JY
A post-war suburban church by Reynolds & Scott, the longitudinal plan, broad west tower, careful detailing and use of a simplified modern Romanesque style all characteristic of their work. Notable furnishings include a timber baldacchino and flanking mosaics.
The new parish was created from Corpus Christi Hollinwood (qv) in 1916. The first Mass was said in the North Chadderton Conservative Club on Victoria Street by Fr James Lawless. In 1917, the Empress Ballroom on Washington Street was hired for social events, and a plot of land was bought on Park Street, where a temporary ‘tin chapel’ was built. The presbytery was built adjacent to the church in 1921, costing £3,619. In 1925 a new arterial road, Broadway was opened, passing close to the church. From 1924, the Rev. George Tighe raised funds for a new church on the site, and was able to commission a new church in 1954, from designs by Francis Reynolds of Reynolds & Scott. The church was built to seat 350 people, and cost £45,000, including fittings. The foundation stone was laid by Bishop Beck on 7 July 1956 and the church first opened for Mass on Palm Sunday, 1957. Initially, the altars from the old church were installed, but later replaced. The old church was used as a parish hall until the current hall was built in 1981.
The church is orientated with the sanctuary roughly to the west, but in this description, conventional liturgical compass points will be used. The church is constructed with loadbearing walls faced in buff bricks with artificial stone surrounds. The pitched nave roof is slate, carried on steel trusses, and flat roofs are asphalt. Rainwater goods are cast iron and windows are steel. The plan consists of an aisleless nave, with narthex and gallery within the west tower and to the east, the sanctuary flanked by flat-roofed side chapels. The west tower has a central full-height recessed panel with triple arched lancets above, a shaped parapet and a tall arched window to each return. The main doors are uPVC, with a mosaic Agnus Dei over. Low flat-roofed blocks flank the tower for the baptistery (former) and side porch. The elevations of the nave have alternate gabled bays and pairs of arched windows. The sanctuary has a shallow convex apse with a cross of projecting brick and arched side lights. A flat-roofed sacristy block connects the southeast corner of the church to the presbytery. Inside, the tall nave has plain plastered walls over a brick plinth. The plastered ceiling is modelled in shallow steps. Single lights set in full-height arched panels alternate with pairs of arched lights to the nave and the sanctuary is side-lit by similar windows, all with coloured glass. The sanctuary and chapel floors were originally terrazzo but these and the nave are now carpeted. The pews and confessional doors are oak. The narthex is separated from the nave by segmental-arched openings with modern glazing and hardwood doors. The gallery above has a plain painted front; the steep gallery stairs have a timber balustrade. The pipe organ was installed in 1974, from the Broadway Street Independent Methodist church, rebuilt by J. Bath and Son, Stockport; it has an early twentieth century oak case. The re-ordered sanctuary has a marble altar and ambo from 1996, but retains the timber baldacchino of 1960 designed by Edward Blackwell, and flanking 1960s mosaics with figures of censing angels, which look like the work of the firm of L. Oppenheimer Ltd. The side chapels to Our Lady and Sacred Heart also retain mosaic panels and marble altars from the early 1960s.
Architect: Reynolds & Scott
Original Date: 1957
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed