Eton Road, Datchet, Slough, Berkshire
A characterful rural church with an unusual stage-scenery Classical façade and a homely interior with some good marble furnishings. The external appearance of the building has been marred by UPVC window replacement.
The church was built in 1928 by the Canons Regular of the Lateran. There is no information at the diocesan archive or in the parish about the builder, architect or the circumstances in which the land was purchased and the church built. The church bears some superficial resemblances to Alfred, Lord Braye’s nearby church at Eton, and the marble furnishings suggest a possible further link. This needs further research.
Eton House, the large building beside the church, is now a residential care home but used to be the presbytery. The parish sold the building in the 1980s, converting a small former school north east of Eton House into a new presbytery and adjoining parish hall. This building and its nearby garage are modern in character.
Datchet is the southernmost parish in the Diocese.
This small church has a tall, classical façade, almost a piece of stage scenery, with quoins, windows with prominent keystones, and an open segmental pedimented doorway. The front is plastered and painted white, the quoins and window dressings in contrasting yellow. Above the door, set high in the wall, is a circular window. Behind the rather elaborate and tall façade, the main body of the church is a simple rectangular block with a hipped roof and keystones over the windows. At the east end is another screen wall, lower than that on the front, and with a small apse. Flat- roofed projections to either side of the church house the sacristy (north) and a small side chapel (south).
Inside, the church consists of a nave with a small west gallery, sanctuary, side chapel and sacristy. The nave and sanctuary have a timber boarded barrel-vaulted ceiling, and the walls are painted and plastered. The nave pews and gallery are in matching, good quality woodwork. The central portion of the gallery front is curved. A wooden panelled screen below the gallery provides a small western narthex with narrow stairs to the gallery. The only adornments in the nave are wooden-framed painted Stations of the Cross, and an octagonal stone font near the sanctuary. The sanctuary has marble altar rails, a marble sarcophagus forward altar and the original altar set into the top-lit apse. There is a further marble altar and wooden chairs in the side chapel. The original timber windows in the nave have been replaced with casement PVC windows. At the same time as the windows were replaced, the sacristy was extended and a WC installed.
Architect: Not established
Original Date: 1928
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed