Blackthorn Avenue, Greenstead, Essex CO4
A modern, functional design, serving a post-war estate. The church is dedicated to St John Payne, martyred at Chelmsford in 1582.
Originally a medieval village to the east of Colchester, Greenstead grew as a very large council estate in the post-war years. The present church was opened on 27 September 1972 to serve this estate (the mission also extended to Catholics in and around the villages of Mistley and Ardleigh). It was served by priests from St James the Less, Colchester, until 1982, when Greenstead (with Ardleigh and Mistley) became a separate parish. The church was consecrated by Bishop McMahon on 1 October 2004. A parish hall was added in 2008. The church is dedicated to St John Payne, one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, who was executed at Chelmsford in 1582.
A fairly large, barn-like church, externally clad in brick laid in stretcher bond and plastic weatherboarding, with a slate roof. The entrance is recessed and placed off- centre. Inside, the church is a single space, held up by lightweight wooden trusses and lit by high-level clerestory windows. There is a side-lit lower recess at the back of the sanctuary, its soffit adorned with decoration on a Eucharistic theme. Furnishings include a small mediavelising wooden statue of the Madonna and Child to the right of the sanctuary recess, a modern painting of St John Payne to the left, a tapering font, and a modern stained glass panel over the entrance to the sacristy.
Architect: Not established
Original Date: 1972
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed