Enfield Road, Ellesmere Port CH65
An interesting architectural essay by Edmund Kirby & Sons. It adopts simple bold forms of the ‘primitive’ Romanesque and Byzantine type popular in the interwar years. While not innovatory either liturgically or in terms of construction or style, the church is a striking design by a well-known firm of architects, with retention of some important original furnishings and an almost completely unaltered exterior.
A ‘tin tabernacle’ was opened in 1909 as the first Catholic church in Ellesmere Port. It was replaced by the present building designed by Edmund Kirby & Sons in 1930-31. The baldacchino, by the same firm of architects, was added in 1932. The flanking ‘mosaics’, actually of card, were made in the 1970s by local schoolchildren to Byzantine designs.
The church is of Hooton red brick with artificial stone dressing. There is a large rose window at the west end and side windows of Diocletian form. There are tall transepts at the east end and a low west porch. The interior is of exposed grey brick with low processional aisles with confessionals and sacristy on the south side, and a north Lady Chapel. Nave and chancel have barrel roofs, probably of concrete. There is a large baldacchino in the chancel with a gabled canopy supported by Romanesque style columns. It shelters a marble high altar with gilding. On the flanking east walls there are large ‘mosaic’ figures made of coloured card, based on Byzantine images of the Virgin and Child and the Archangel Gabriel. Furnishings, including a forward altar, are otherwise simple and functional.
Original Date: 1931
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed