Sheen Road, Richmond, London TW10
A modest brick church of 1953-4 by Goodhart-Rendel’s partner F. G. Broadbent, who probably also extended the church westwards in 1963. The church has been reordered and retains few furnishings of note. Set into the boundary wall to the rear are fifteen roundels by Faith Winter, forming a Rosary Way, which won the silver medal of the Society of British Sculptors.
In 1938 Bertram Lewis Bisgood KSG and his brother Eustace donated two houses in the Sheen Road for use by the Catholic mission. The ground floor was used as a temporary chapel while the resident curate lived upstairs. A church with attached parish room and presbytery were built in 1953-4 on the site. The foundation stone was laid on 7 November 1953 and the church was opened on 9 May 1954. The architect was F. G. Broadbent of Goodhart-Rendel, Broadbent & Curtis. The small parish room was soon insufficient and in 1957, an old prefabricated building was acquired. In 1959 East Sheen became an independent parish.
In 1963 the church was sympathetically extended westwards, probably by the same architectural practice. Following a reordering and the clearing of the debt, the consecration took place on 15 June 1971. F. G. Broadbent designed the consecration crosses and sconces for candles. An outdoor statue of Our Lady was later installed on the west front.
In 1984 the Rosary Way in the gardens behind the church was opened by Bishop Howard Tripp, who had been parish priest at East Sheen from 1965. The Rosary Way is a series of fifteen sculpted roundels with Marian themes by Faith Winter FRBS. They are set into the boundary wall in front of which roses are planted. Winter won the Royal Society of Sculptors’ Silver Medal for this work. (Among other works, Winter is noted for her commission for the Falkland Memorial in Port Stanley, and statues of Air Chief Marshall Hugh Dowding and Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Arthur Travers Harris in the Strand, London.) Winter probably also sculpted the statue of Our Lady in a grotto in the garden, whose face is modelled on that of the Duchess of Kent. The parish hall was built in 1992.
The church was built in 1953-4 to designs by F. G. Broadbent. It was built using brown brick laid in English bond, and has a pantile roof and a tile-hung stair turret. The plan is longitudinal, with a southwest chapel, a square southeast tower and an L- shaped sacristy at the southeast and east. The west front has an arcaded walkway of five arches in front of the three doorways. Above is the large, segmentally-headed west window with five sculpted panels above, depicting the Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Presentation and the Finding in the Temple. Set on a corbel at sill level is a statue of Our Lady of Peace, formerly freestanding in the grounds. To the right of the entrance doors is the foundation stone.
Inside is a narthex below the organ gallery. At the northwest are the gallery stair and the repository. Inside the narthex is also a slate plaque commemorating the donations by Eustace Denis and Bertram Lewis Bisgood, and Nora Walker. Accessible from the nave are two confessionals on either side of the narthex, of which the one at the southwest is much larger and might originally have been the baptistery. There are five windows on the north side of the nave and three windows on the south. The north side has a door to the parish room and a ceramic plaque of Our Lady with the Child and St John the Baptist. At the northeast is the octagonal stone font on a fluted stem. The Stations are unframed reliefs, carved in timber.
The sanctuary has a large reredos with a border with the Instruments of Passion and a gently curved canopy with angles at the corners. Above the tabernacle stand hangs a crucifix. The tabernacle stand and the altar are of stone, while the pulpit, ambo and chairs are of timber. On the south side of the sanctuary is a window to the first floor tower room, formerly the organ chamber, now a children’s room. There is a toilet on the landing of the stairs. At the southwest is the Lady Chapel, separated from the nave by three arches. A statue of Our Lady with the Child stands on a plain stone altar, near a crucifix and a statute of St Joseph.
Architect: Goodhart-Rendel, Broadbent & Curtis
Original Date: 1953
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed