Deedmore Road, Wood End, Coventry CV2
Photo Chris Pickford
A striking church with a fan-shaped plan designed in response to the post-Vatican II liturgical changes. The aluminium roof consists of overlapping segments with glazed clerestory windows which culminate in a needle spire.
A mission was founded at Walsgrave in 1950. This developed into the parishes of St John Fisher, Wyken (qv), and St Patrick. A multi-purpose church-hall was built in 1956 by K. Newton of W. H. Saunders & Son on a site in Bell Green. In 1959 and 1961 schools were built on a different site, and in the 1960s an adjacent plot in Deedmore Road was bought for a new church.
Work on site started in October 1968 and the new church with attached presbytery was opened on 25 May 1971. The architects were Desmond Williams & Associates (architect-in-charge Jack Edmondson), the structural engineers Ove Arup and the contractor James O’Flanagan Ltd. The church was consecrated in March 1983.
The church was built in 1968-70 to designs by Desmond Williams & Associates. It is a complex steel-framed structure with an aluminium roof of eight overlapping triangular segments culminating in a needle spire. There are clerestory window bands between the roof segments and large metal windows in the outer walls below the roof. The church has a roughly triangular porch at the west, a fan-shaped nave and triangular ancillary spaces (including the Lady Chapel) at the east. Further east is the attached presbytery. The architect attempted to keep the church related to a domestic scale by keeping the eaves of the church, the sacristies and the presbytery all at a height of 8ft 6ins (J. Edmondson in opening brochure, 1971, p. 6).
The interior has not been inspected. The opening brochure states that the east wall and the central spine are panelled in cedar of Lebanon. The stained glass window of the Crucifixion (Dublin Glass, 1969) at the east is framed by concrete supports which, according to the architect, symbolise the ‘body of Christ’ (J. Edmondson in opening brochure, 1971, p. 6); the tabernacle is directly below the window. The Lady Chapel is located directly behind the sanctuary and the chapel’s pitched roof penetrates into the sanctuary, representing ‘the arms of Christ embracing the sacraments of Baptism and Penance’ (J. Edmondson in opening brochure, 1971, p. 6). The Lady Chapel has a timber panelled ceiling and a statue of the Virgin Mary by A. Breen. Between the nave and the narthex is a stained glass window of St Patrick (Dublin Glass, 1969). The coloured glazing in the outer nave windows was by John Hardman Studio. Other original furnishings were by the following craftsmen: the organ by Harris Organ; the tabernacle by Dorr Bros; the baptismal font by F. & S. J. Taylor; the altars by Bannocks of Birmingham; and the Stations of the Cross by Dublin Glass.
Architect: Desmond Williams & Associates
Original Date: 1970
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed