High Road, Goodmayes, Ilford, Essex IG3
A handsome Arts and Crafts former Methodist church of 1904, with a galleried interior with hammerbeam roof, attached hall and Sunday school. The church opened as St Cedd’s Catholic church in 1966 and is said to have been the first Methodist church to be sold to the Catholic Church.
The church was built in 1904 as the Goodmayes (Wesleyan) Methodist Church. Its architect has not been established, but the design bears the hallmark of George Baines, who also designed the Methodist church in nearby Seven Kings Road at about the same time (1904-05). In 1910 the Sunday school and hall were added, followed by the choir vestry in 1927. (As the footprint of the complex did not change between the publication of the OS maps of 1919 and 1938, it is likely that the 1927 vestry was a two-storey rebuilding on the same plan as a previous, lower vestry.)
In November 1966 the church and hall were bought by the Catholic Church for £57,000. The first Mass was held on 27 November 1966. Following some alterations under Desmond Williams & Associates (with the builders Messrs C.S. Foster & Sons of Loughton), the official opening took place exactly a year later. In 1983 Gerald Murphy of Gerald Murphy, Newton & Partners reordered the church (contractors: Messrs H.W. Wilson of South Ockendon). On 1 December 1983 the church was consecrated. The parish was in the care of the Vincentians until 1994, when the Missionaries of La Salette took over.
The church faces north, but this description uses conventional liturgical orientation.
The church is built in a free Gothic style, red brick in English bond with stone dressings and a tiled roof. The plan is longitudinal, of an apsed nave with side aisles. The central portion of the tripartite west front has an ogee-shaped gable with a shallow niche and stone banding. The west window has a ‘lively Dec window’ (Buildings of England) above a projecting porch with ogee top, flanked by two-light square windows. The buttress to the south has an octagonal upper part which is abruptly capped. The west front of the south aisle has a two-light window, while that of the north aisle is the rump of an unexecuted tower with diagonal buttresses, a two-stage, two-light west window and a pyramidal roof. To the north, this tower has an elaborately-carved entrance of a pointed doorway between shallow buttresses under a segmental pediment. The pediment is carved with diaperwork, foliage and a blank shield. (A plainer entrance at the southwest is no longer in use and its steps have been removed.)
The six north aisle bays have individual gabled cross roofs, with one three-light pointed clerestory window and one two-light segmental aisle window per gabled bay. The tracery in the windows is simplified but the height of the central light of the clerestory windows subtly alternates. At the southeast is a plain projecting two-storey block with concrete lintels to the windows, which is probably the 1927 choir vestry.
The interior is typical for a Nonconformist church, with large, raked galleries on three sides, supported on iron columns. Further columns directly above them support the large and impressive hammerbeam roof. At the southwest and northwest are large, open-well stone stairs with cast-iron balusters. The narthex has one low five-light window into the nave. At the west ends of the side aisles are inserted timber-panelled confessionals. The pipe organ by Bishop & Sons stands on the upper floor of the apse, between two two-light windows. The choir seating, curved benches in front of the organ, is now disused. As part of the 1966 alterations, the central pulpit was removed and replaced by a central panel whose shape mirrors that of the pointed chancel arch. On the panels hangs a bronze and fibreglass crucifix by Sean Crampton (1983), with the presidential chair in front of it. The sanctuary furnishings of 1983 are all of Wicklow granite (Bull Construction, stonemasons), with the font commissioned later to match the rest. Beside the altar is a statue of Our Lady of La Salette.
At the northeast are timber sculptures of St Vincent de Paul and Our Lady and a granite plaque to the Vincentians; at the southeast are statues of St Anthony, the Sacred Heart, and a bronze relief of St Maximilian Kolbe. The original oak floor has been sanded. The Stations of the Cross are unframed and probably date from the 1970s. (The first Stations installed in 1966, painted on metal with timber frames, are in storage.)
Architect: George Baines (unconfirmed)
Original Date: 1904
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed