Criccieth, LL52 0AP
A utilitarian design of the mid-1950s, of interest only for an unusual wall painting in the sanctuary by Eleanor Brooks and carved work by Jonah Jones. At the time of writing (July 2018) the building is no longer used for worship and has been emptied of most of its fittings and furnishings.
In the 1950s Criccieth developed as a popular holiday resort, the small resident Catholic community being supplemented during summer months by Catholic holidaymakers. It was decided to establish a chapel-of-ease, served from Porthmadog. The church of the Holy Spirit was opened and blessed by Bishop Petit of Menevia on 22 September 1957. The architect was M. T. Pritchard (Catholic Building Review). The building is of utilitarian architectural character, but from the outset contained furnishings of note, including a large sanctuary mural designed by Isobel Radcliffe and painted by Eleanor Brooks and carved work by Jonah Jones (Radcliffe was godmother to Jones’s son Peter).
In May 2016 the church was closed as a result of diocesan pastoral review. At the time of writing (July 2018) an application to demolish the building and replace it with a new house is before the local planning authority.
The building is constructed of cavity brickwork painted white with a contrasting low northwest tower and entrance stairs, which are clad in local granite. The sacristy projects at the northeast corner and is under a lower roofline. The roof is flat and constructed with in situ concrete with a mastic asphalt finish. The windows are modern uPVC double glazed replacements for the original top-opening metal windows. There is a cornerstone at the southwest corner carved with a representation of the Holy Spirit, by Jonah Jones.
Inside there is a small entrance porch, and at the southwest corner of the nave is a confessional. The nave is of three steel-framed bays, each with one window; the floor is covered with hardwood blocks, the walls are painted brick, and the ceiling is panelled. The sanctuary is two bays in length and up one step with a painted steel communion rail; its floor is paved with local granite and carpet and the altar is up three steps.
Most of the furnishings and artworks have been removed, but those surviving (because fixed) include an original wall painting in the sanctuary, an unusual scene of uncertain symbolism depicting kneeling figures of a knight (St George?) and Our Lady, surrounded by vines and animals (including a kangaroo); it was designed by Isobel Radcliffe and painted by Eleanor Brooks. In the nave, a carved statue of Our Lady by Jonah Jones is also original to the church. The altar is of randomly course granite, the tabernacle plinth matches, and the tabernacle is granite with brass doors.
Architect: M. T. Pritchard
Original Date: 1957
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed