Main Street, East Leake, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE12
Post-war church in the stripped sub-Romanesque Moderne style popular for Catholic churches in the middle decades of the 20th century. The exterior is somewhat gaunt, the interior more intimate in character.
From 1952 Mass was said in the East Leake village hall by Rosminian priests from St Mary’s, Loughborough. Two years later a plot of land in Main Street was donated by Captain and Mrs Alexander Roulstone (who were not Catholics), and Bishop Ellis authorised the construction of a new church. The foundation stone was laid in June 1954 and the first Mass was said in May 1955. The church was built from designs by E. Bower Norris, the builders were H. Hammond and Sons of Loughborough, and the church accommodated 148 worshippers.
In 1969 the church was taken over by the Diocese, and since that time has been served by secular priests. A presbytery was built behind the church in the 1970s and more recently an attached parish hall has been built at the back of the church.
In 2004 a mosaic depicting the Annunciation was installed over the west door from designs by Tessa Hunkin of the Mosaic Workshop, London (photo top right). More recently the interior has been refurbished by John Halton Design Ltd (contractor Frank Goulding Ltd), works which have included a new ceiling and redecoration.
The church is orientated north-south, but this description follows conventional liturgical orientation.
This is a brick (stretcher bond) church in the stripped moderne, sub-Romanesque style popular in the interwar and post-war years. It consists of an aisleless nave and west tower, with lower confessionals and sacristies etc giving the south side. The tapering brick tower has a shallow pedimented parapet and recessed panels at the angles at the upper stage. The entrance door and a tall tripartite window over are set within reconstituted stone frame and mullions; separating the two is a mosaic panel of the Annunciation of 2004 (photo upper right). To the right of the recessed entrance doors a panel is placed on the reveal recording the donors of the land for the church. A ramped entrance has been formed in the southern flank wall of the tower. The nave walls have rectangular headed clerestory windows with coloured glass set in metal frames; shallow pitched roof over with felt finish. The sacristies, confessionals etc are flat roofed, the roof hidden by a parapet of brick on edge with reconstituted stone coping. Soldier course brickwork over the windows.
The main entrance leads into a small narthex under a western gallery in the tower area. A former baptistery gives off the north side of the narthex, with a fish stained glass roundel in the central window. The main body of the church consists of a single space, with a narrower sanctuary. The ceiling has a staggered soffit of art deco character on either side, possibly of recent date. The walls are plastered, and there is a good set of oak benches with openwork panels on the ends and backs. The sanctuary furnishings include the original tapering font (relocated from the baptistery) and some fine embroidered panels by a lady of the parish. At the west end of the nave is a small organ by Bennington and Sons of London, Gothic and of apparent late 19th century date, so brought from elsewhere.
Architect: E. Bower Norris
Original Date: 1954
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed