Grimsby Road, Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire
A modern polygonal building of pleasing design, incorporating a number of features from the previous (1930) church.
Mass was said at various locations around Cleethorpes in the early 20th century, including the Technical Institute, the Pier Pavilion and the Theatre Royal. Finally in 1930 a permanent church was built on Grimsby Road by F.J. Bradford in a brick Italo-Byzantine style, at a cost of £3,400 (figure 1). This was initially served from St Mary’s, Grimsby; Cleethorpes did not get its own parish priest until 1937, and a presbytery was built in 1952. In 1938 the Sisters of St Joseph of Peace established a nursing home in the town, and they still maintain a (smaller) presence in the parish.
In 1994 structural cracks appeared in the 1930 church, and a decision was taken to demolish it and build a new church alongside, with the site of the old church then sold for housing development. The architect for the new church was J.H. Langtry – Langton & Sons of Bradford and the builders F.A. Would Ltd of Grimsby. Bishop McGuinness laid the foundation stone on 1 July 1995 and the completed church was opened on 8 December in the same year. Many items from the old church were incorporated in the new one.
The church is now served from St Pius X, Grimsby. Sisters of St Joseph of Peace live in the presbytery.
The church is broadly hexagonal on plan (or strictly octagonal, with two very short sides). It is of steel framed construction, externally clad in red brick laid in stretcher bond, with reconstituted stone dressings and a slate roof. The shallow pitched roofs rise up to a pretty timber open octagonal cupola containing a statue of Our Lady. The external walls have attached buttresses with stone offsets at the angles; between these runs a stone band at dado height. The windows are of slender vertical proportions, apart from the large stained glass windows and a lunette lighting the sanctuary. Flanking this are bays with fin-shaped projections on either side of curved apsidal walls.
The entrance is through a tripartite ‘Venetian’ doorway with a mosaic of the Virgin and Child in the central arch, brought from the old church. The oak entrance doors (also recycled from the old church) are set back, to create a recessed porch. These lead into a small narthex enclosed by screens incorporating old joinery, and then into the main space of the church. This is a single volume with a perimeter ring beam and ribs which sweep up to carry the roof and cupola. The ceiling is boarded, apart from the central bays, which have solid panels with raised top lighting on either side, on the entrance side incorporating new figurative stained glass with imagery from the Passion.
The fittings include a number of items from the old church. These include:
• The square stone neo-Byzantine font, placed in the sanctuary area
• The oak benches for the congregational seating (supplemented by some new ones in matching style)
• The crucifix hanging over the altar
• Stained glass window behind the altar (chalice and Host)
• Foundation stone from old church, in the priest’s confessional room
• Stations of the Cross, donated by parishioners in the 1930s
• The organ console (refitted by H. Groves & Sons)
• Statues of St Joseph, Our Lady of Lourdes, the Sacred Heart and St Theresa
• Tabernacle, brass candle sticks and sanctuary lamp (in area of reservation, to left of altar)
New fittings include two large stained glass windows on either side of the sanctuary, (Annunciation and Christ the King) given by a family in the congregation, and windows designed by local schoolchildren under the direction of John Dean, stained glass artist.
Original Date: 1995
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed