Stonelow Road, Dronfield, Derbyshire, S18
A functional combined church and hall of the 1960s by John Rochford, somewhat altered but retaining a fine original relief statue by Charles Blakeman.
Mass was celebrated by Canon Bird in a room at the White Swan Inn in Dronfield from 1934. In 1949 a disused Methodist chapel on Snape Hill was given to the Catholics in Dronfield by George Lunt of Woodseats. A separate parish was formed in 1961 and planning permission for a purpose-built church on Stonelow Road was obtained in 1962. Plans were drawn up in 1964 for a combined church and parish hall costing £25,000. The design was by John Rochford & Partner and the contractors were Messrs Wade Construction Co. Ltd. The first Mass was held in the new building in 1967, which was officially opened in the September of that year. A presbytery was built on the adjacent plot in 1975, to designs by Reynolds & Scott.
Reordering of the sanctuary and creation of the Lady Chapel was undertaken by Fr. Maurice Bartley, parish priest from 1984. A refurbishment of church and presbytery took place in 2000 and in the years which followed a new kitchen, improved WCs and disabled access arrangements were created.
The church was built in 1967 to designs by John Rochford & Partner. It is of portal frame construction, clad in brown brick laid in stretcher bond and with a slate roof. It consists of a service block containing kitchen, WCs, etc. and a gabled main building combining a church and church hall. The two elements are connected by a lower entrance block with a flat canopy sheltering the doors. Inside, the principal space can be divided by a shutter, and there are simple modern sanctuary furnishings. A Lady Chapel on the south side of the sanctuary has a fine relief statue of the Virgin and Child by Charles Blakeman, a sculptor and stained glass artist who before the war was part of the Arts and Crafts community at Chipping Campden. Most seating is provided by modern chairs, with a few benches at the front.
Original Date: 1967
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed