Eton Wick Road, Eton Wick, Berkshire
A modest church of the 1960s, conventionally longitudinal in plan, and displaying architectural and decorative detail typical of its time.
Before St Gilbert’s was opened Eton Wick Catholics attended Mass in the village hall for over a decade. The charge for hire was four shillings a week; the congregation were also required to clear up after the previous evening’s event. In 1954, a fundraising effort was launched to provide a church. Land was purchased for £1,5000 and ten years later the present church was blessed by the bishop, on the day before Palm Sunday, 1964. St Gilbert’s was built to seat about 150, at a cost of £16,000. The architects were Salisbury & Chandler of Exeter. The church was originally served by the Canons Regular of the Lateran from Datchet, hence the dedication to St Gilbert (of Sempringham). It is now served by secular clergy from Our Lady of Peace, Burnham.
Built of brown brick, the church has a wide nave with a tiled roof, attached to a low east tower with hipped roof, also tiled. The nave has five long windows, replaced in uPVC (as have the arched stair windows in the tower). The west gable end has a circular window with a cross motif. Attached to the west end is a brick porch with segmental arched roof and doors on either side of a once-glazed central section. South of the tower is a single-storey, flat-roofed block housing a sacristy and WCs.
The interior is plain, with framed bay subdivisions, painted plaster walls, glass globe pendant lights, a wooden floor and a mixture of original pews and stacking chairs. At the west end is a shallow gallery with 1960s geometric patterning across its front and, below, space for a confessional and repository. Behind the altar a wooden crucifix is mounted on the wall; at the northeast end of the nave is a carved wall sculpture of the Virgin and Child.
Architect: Salisbury & Chandler
Original Date: 1963
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed