Braintree Road, Great Bardfield, Braintree, Essex CM7
The chapel is in an upper room, created within a house built in 1955 and extended in 1969. Externally, while there are signs of its intended use (in part) as a church, the character is primarily residential. The building is close to the historic core of the village, by the medieval parish church.
The church is located on the upper floor of a house, built in 1955 by Charles and Ursula Osborne. Ursula (1899-2001) was a cradle Catholic, her family from Stebbing, while her younger husband (1908-82) was a convert. They lived on the ground floor while the upper floor was given over to a chapel for the local Catholics; this was served from Dunmow. In 1969 both house and chapel were doubled in size and the building donated by Mr and Mrs Osborne to the diocese. The first resident priest was appointed in 1970. Great Bardfield became an independent parish in 1985.
The building is a large two-storey house, externally rendered and with a pitched pantiled roof. A raised brick Chi-Rho symbol on the gable end denotes the original chapel function. There is also a bell, hung in the large Tudor-style brick stack on the two-storey projecting bay on the front elevation. A separate stair to the upper room chapel is formed within the later addition, with an arch with brick surround, surmounted by a brick cross.
The stair leads up into a large lobby/kitchen and social space, separated from the main worship space by a screen partition. The main space is large, occupying two thirds of the upper floor, with a round window in the gable end behind the sanctuary. An opening onto a rear addition forms a separate ‘aisle’. There is a modern stained glass window depicting the dove of the Holy Spirit in the round window. A painted plaster frieze with Eucharistic symbols of wheat and grapes runs around the room. The seating is a mixture of plain benches and chairs.
Architect: Not established
Original Date: 1955
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed