Loughrigg Avenue, Clinkham Wood, St Helens WA11
A confident exercise in Brutalist architecture built in 1963-4 and influenced by Gillespie Kidd and Coia’s St Paul’s, Glenrothes (1955). Forms a good group with the parish hall and presbytery, designed in the same idiom.
The parish was formed and the church built in 1964 to serve a new housing estate, part of the post-war northern expansion of St Helens.
The church is faced with grey brick laid in stretcher bond and has steel roof coverings. The composition is a powerful one. The basic plan is rectangular, with two opposed monopitch roofs with a tall clerestorey window in the upstand of the steeper pitch. There are also strip windows under the eaves of the lower pitch; otherwise the main elevations are windowless. The liturgical west end is a strong composition, with the steep ends of the two roof slopes rising above a cantilevered external stair leading to the west gallery; below the stair is the main entrance door.
Inside the church, the massive principal members of the concrete frame are exposed. On the north side behind paired piloti is a passage aisle with the confessionals. The south wall and the ceiling slopes are boarded. The end walls are bare brick laid in English bond. At the west end, the southern half of the lower wall space is occupied by the gallery, the other half originally had vertical strip windows, but many of these have now been blocked. There is no structural sanctuary. The modest timber altars and ambo desk are mounted on a small dais; the reredos is set against the massive concrete vertical of the main frame of the building.
The church forms a striking group with the presbytery and the hall, which is a smaller version of the church building with the same roof arrangement.
Architect: F. X. Velarde Partnership & Richard O’Mahony
Original Date: 1964
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed