Building » Chapel-en-le-Frith, High Peak- St John Fisher and St Thomas More

Chapel-en-le-Frith, High Peak- St John Fisher and St Thomas More

Horderns Road, Chapel-en-le-Frith, High Peak, Derbyshire SK23

The small church is an attractive feature in an inter-war residential area, faced in local stone, designed in a simple Gothic Revival architectural style and domestic in scale. The interior is well- proportioned and lit, and retains a set of pine pews. The sanctuary has recently been re-ordered using salvaged and new fittings, as part of a return to a more traditional liturgy.

A mission to Chapel from New Mills is first recorded in 1848 but did not result in a church building.   A second mission in 1928 from Buxton led to the building of the church. The foundation stone was laid in November 1936 and the church, dedicated to the newly-canonised Sts Thomas More and John Fisher, opened in 1937. The architect was Arnold Lowcock ARIBA of Buxton and the builders C. Green & Son from Chapel. The church accommodated 150 people, with provision for another thirty in a gallery (not built). The cost was £2000.

The domestic-scale church is built in a simple Gothic Revival style, faced in snecked sandstone  with  a  sweeping  Westmorland  slate roof.  The  nave  and  sanctuary  are under one three-bay roof with a flat-roofed porch facing the road to the east. The liturgical east end faces west. Windows are either low stone mullioned windows or tall triple lancets within large gables to side elevations. The sanctuary is lit by a small plain three-light window set high above the altar, probably an insertion, filled with 1950s stained glass of the two martyrs. The nave windows are glazed with plain leaded glass.

Inside, the church is a single volume, except for a former confessional and a recent Sacred Heart chapel in alcoves adjacent to the entrance. The exposed braced collar trusses have arcaded struts. The sloping roof soffit, ceiling and walls are plain plastered. The interior was apparently stripped of original fittings in the 1970s and has recently been re-fitted with salvaged Gothic-style fittings and joinery, for example the 1910 pulpit and Gothic wall panelling is from Angmering and the stone font and altar top from Belper. The painted decoration to the east wall has been restored and dado panelling installed in a Gothic design that echoes the salvaged joinery. The marble altar structure was made by the Gillick family in 2009. The open-backed pine pews are probably original.  The floor is obscured by carpet tiles.

Heritage Details

Architect: A. Lowcock ARIBA

Original Date: 1937

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed