Woodlands Road, Haresfinch, St Helens WA11
A pleasant example of the stripped basilican Romanesque style so widely adopted in the interwar period, with an austere interior.
With the interwar northern expansion of St Helens, a mission was established at Haresfinch in 1937, and the Revd James Dillon, from the Sacred Heart, St Helens, placed in charge. The church was built in 1938. The architect has not been established, but stylistically the building bears the hallmarks of churches designed at that time by Norris & Reynolds.
An exercise in the stripped Romanesque basilican style typical of many interwar churches in the Liverpool archdiocese. Built of buff brick with tile roof coverings, the plan comprises a nave and sanctuary under one roof, a squat tower at the (liturgical) northwest corner with a balancing single-storey projection at the southwest corner, lean-to aisles and sacristies and a passage to the presbytery at the east end of the north side. The tall gabled west wall has a central doorway with stone surround flanked by two small round-headed windows; above the door is a single tall round-headed window. The tower does not rise above the ridge of the roof. It has a single slit window in each exposed face, a stone band-course incorporating the cills of the segment-headed belfry windows and a shallow pyramidal roof. The side walls are divided into bays by brick pilaster strips, with a single round-headed window in each bay above the aisle roofs.
The interior is very austere. The walls are plain plastered throughout. The floor is covered with green terrazzo tiles. On each side of the nave, low round-headed arches open into the low aisles with their sloping roofs. In the walls of the aisles are blind round-headed recesses with the Stations of the Cross. The clear-glazed round headed windows are punched into the walls with no reveals. The king-post trusses of the roof are exposed with the ceiling above plastered. At the west end is a gallery with a plastered front, the underside enclosed as the vestibule area. At the east end a wide semi-circular arch divides the nave from the unaisled sanctuary; it is echoed by a blind arch on the east wall, producing a decidedly Soanian effect. The sanctuary has been reordered, and the white marble high altar, forward altar and ambo are clearly later additions. The nave benches are probably original.
Entry amended by AHP 9.1.2021
Architect: Not established
Original Date: 1938
Conservation Area: No
Listed Grade: Not Listed