Seabridge Lane, Clayton, Staffordshire ST5
A late 1950s multi-purpose building, later substantially extended. While not of architectural or historical significance, the reworking of the interior provides a welcoming and pleasing worship space.
A Mass centre served from Holy Trinity, Newcastle, was opened at the Clayton Lodge Hotel at Easter 1957 and a resident priest appointed soon afterwards. Already, in March 1956, a field adjacent to Seabridge Lane had been acquired from Newcastle Council for the erection of a church, presbytery, hall and school. However, the initial place of worship was a church-cum-hall-cum-school which was started in 1957 and officially opened on 3 June 1958 (a purpose-built school would not open until 1967). The architect was F. King of Wood, Goldstraw & Yorath, Tunstall and the cost £19,000. Although the intention was to have a purpose-built church, leaving the existing building as the parish hall only, this never happened and the solution was to expand the existing building. The western narthex/porch was added in 1988. In 1993 a new east end (with Lady Chapel) was created and joined to the presbytery. Aisles were also added so that the original building was more or less surrounded: this can readily be seen in the slightly different colour, texture and patina of the brickwork and roof tiles. Statues of Our Lady and the Sacred Heart were acquired from the chapel at the City General Hospital and a statue of St Joseph came from St Bernard’s Convent, Newcastle. The consecration took place in 2006.
The church now consists of a broad nave (which represents the footprint of the main body of the original church), narrow aisles, a western narthex, sanctuary (which is a continuation of the nave), and a triangular-shaped, southeast Lady Chapel. The buildings are covered by pantiled roofs.
The interior walls are plastered and painted light cream in the nave and aisles whereas the sanctuary has wooden panelling except for the end wall, which has exposed buff brick around a blind round-arched feature. This area is top-lit. There are three openings to each of the aisles with lintels and timber-clad square piers. Over the nave is a three-sided plaster ceiling. Each bay of the aisles is lit by a pair of skylights. The aisle windows were installed to mark the consecration of the church in 2006 and depict the Twelve Gifts of the Holy Spirit; they are by Tanith Harvey of Goode & Davies Ltd. There is also a statue of the seventh-century Staffordshire-born abbess, St Werburgh. No other fittings or furnishings require special mention.
Architect: Wood, Goldstraw & Yorath
Original Date: 1957
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed