Nobes Avenue, Bridgemary, Gosport, Hampshire
A modest 1950s church, intended as a hall.
St Columba was intended as church hall but was opened for worship in 1953. The architect was Cyril Sheppard of Ryde. Here he uses the same cruck-like concrete trusses pierced with circles that he used two years earlier at St David, East Cowes (qv). The effect of the immensely steep roof internally was lost when a suspended ceiling was inserted in 1986 (architect John Wingfield).
Externally the church is a simple rectangle with a slightly narrower and lower entrance bay. Red brick with steeply pitched tiled roof. The entrance has the many-stepped jambs that Sheppard used at East Cowes and Seaview on the Isle of Wight. Brick plinth, stretcher bond and clay tile kneelers to the gables. Tall side windows in pairs and with stepped jambs. The sanctuary end has two large blind openings with concrete lintels, like garage entrances and presumably for intended extension. The church is oriented the wrong way round, with the sanctuary facing west. The interior has a secondary porch extending into the nave space, with an organ set above. Plain wall and parabolic arch separating the sanctuary which is lit by the last pair of windows on one side only, with a small sacristy off the other side. Canted panelled ceiling inserted in 1986 and cutting across the open circles of the trusses. Wooden furnishings probably all of the time of the church, a harmonious ensemble, including a portable font with two fold-out doors. Outside the church a later shrine to Our Lady, a small garden enclosed by a curved rear wall, the statue of the Virgin set within a glazed case with a tiled roof.
Architect: Cyril Sheppard
Original Date: 1953
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed