Stephendale Road, London SW6
A brick-built inter-war church in an economical round-arched style, with a pleasing, light and welcoming interior. The building is an early design by T. H. B. Scott, in collaboration with Fr Benedict Williamson, and some of the Italian Renaissance detailing e.g. the high altar reredos, clearly shows the hand of Williamson (cf. his church at Royston, Herts). The church is of local architectural and historic interest, and with its tower makes a distinctive contribution to the local townscape.
This church was opened on 17 December 1922. It had the same architects as the nearby Holy Cross, Parsons Green (qv), opened two years later: both churches were paid for by Mr Edward Eyre.
The church is oriented to the south; directions given in this description are liturgical.
The church is faced with yellow stock brick and designed in a plain, round-arched style. It consists of a tall northwest campanile (topped by a copper-clad pyramid spire), nave with passage aisles (equal in height to the nave), sanctuary, and sacristies at the east end. The walls are all sheer and have no buttressing. The articulation of the north wall, and the planning with tall, narrow aisles, is reminiscent of Holy Cross, Parsons Green. The west front has a central entrance and above it an oculus window.
The interior is plastered and whitened and is dominated by three large tall arches to the arcades on either side. The piers are square, are panelled in their lower parts and have prominently flared capitals of early Florentine derivation. Over the nave, the roof is a simple tie-beam structure. The aisles have panelled dadoes, similar in style to the panelling on the piers. The south wall has arcading embracing various ancillary spaces including confessionals and shrines to St Joseph and the Sacred Heart. A narthex area is formed underneath the west gallery.
The former stone altar and rails to the sanctuary have been removed, as has the painted Crucifixion scene. The reredos remains, however, with pilasters supporting an entablature which in turn carries six pedestals beneath a triangular pediment. The Lady altar remains (east end of south aisle), similar in design to the former high altar. The details of the Lady altar and the sanctuary reredos are in Benedict Williamson’s Egyptian manner. The reredos embraces a large, Byzantine-style painting of Christ in Majesty (this seems recent work but a date has not been established).
Stations of the Cross. Of stone and almost certainly designed by the architects.
Open-backed nave seating of conventional design: supplied (according to Evinson) by Bennett.
Architect: T. H. B. Scott and Fr Benedict Williamson
Original Date: 1922
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed